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Hotel Customer Service and the ADA Developed by the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Hotel Customer Service and the ADA Developed by the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Hotel Customer Service and the ADA Developed by the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center 1

2 ADA Centers 10 regional Centers provide: Training Materials Newsletters Toll-free Technical Assistance Line: 1-800-949-4232 Voice/TTY Website: 2

3 What is the ADA? Americans with Disabilities Act, civil rights law passed in 1990 Prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities by a variety of private businesses, including hotels and restaurants Goal: The full inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of American society 3

4 Why was the ADA needed? Think back to before 1990… There were fewer curb cuts Many hotels and other businesses were not accessible People with disabilities were rarely seen in advertisements and TV shows Interpreters were rarely used at public events People with disabilities were excluded from many activities due to barriers 4

5 ADA Quiz 5 How many people with disabilities are there in the United States?

6 Answer At least 54 MILLION U.S. Census Bureau Facts for Features: 20 th Anniversary of the ADA July 26, 2010 6

7 The Market More than 21 million adults with disabilities traveled at least once in the preceding two years, and More than 50% of them stayed in hotels during their trips Open Doors Organization (ODO), Travel Industry Association of America (TIA), 2005 7

8 The Market However, 60% of guests with disabilities had problems at the hotels where they stayed – Physical barriers – Communication barriers – Customer service problems Open Doors Organization (ODO), Travel Industry Association of America (TIA), 2005 8

9 How can we attract the market? 9

10 Examples of Accessibility Fire alarm signals with flashing lights Signs with Braille characters Reading materials out loud Exchanging written notes Reserved parking spaces No-step entrances Larger restroom stalls Self-service items within reach of seated people 10

11 Brainstorm Accommodations DISABILITY Mobility impairment/ Wheelchair user Blindness Deafness Psychiatric disability Intellectual disability Diabetes Learning disability Short stature ACTIVITY Stay overnight Dine in restaurant Attend party or event Attend meeting or conference Patronize bar/lounge Use pool and/or fitness center 11

12 Guest Who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing Write notes back and forth Speak clearly and dont cover your mouth Use gestures and body language If someone is interpreting for the guest, speak directly to the Deaf person, not to the person interpreting 12

13 Telephone Relay System 13 A communications assistant relays telephone conversations for people who are Deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech impairments

14 Guest Who is Blind or Has Low Vision Provide print information in large print, Braille, or electronic formats Read menus or documents to the guest Orient the guest to the hotel, including the lobby, their room, and areas in and around the hotel Assist with finding signature line on guest checks, registration forms, etc. Offer to trim a corner off a key card so the guest knows which way to put it in the door 14

15 Being a Sighted Guide Images Copyright © 2006 Earl Dotter and American Foundation for Blind 15

16 Guest Using a Wheelchair Do not lean on a persons wheelchair while talking to him If your counter is too high, use another location with a lower surface, or go around and give documents to the guest on a clipboard Ask if guest needs an ADA-compliant room (accessible bathroom with grab bars, etc.) 16

17 Guest with a Speech Disability Dont pretend you understand Ask the person to repeat what was said Be willing to write notes back and forth Do not shout or raise your voice If the person uses a computer to talk, continue to have a normal conversation Picture Communication Symbols©1981-2007 by Mayer-Johnson LLC. All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Used with permission. Boardmaker is a trademark of Mayer-Johnson LLC., P.O. Box 1579, Solana Beach, CA 92075, 858-550-0084 17

18 Guest with an Intellectual Disability Dont make assumptions about what the person can or cannot do Explain things clearly and be willing to repeat, if asked 18

19 Guest with a Service Animal The ADA requires you to allow service animals throughout the hotel even if you have a no animals policy Service animals are working animals and you should not pet or distract them People with all types of disabilities use various types of service animals Identify areas outside where service animals can relieve themselves 19

20 Making Accessible Rooms Usable for Wheelchair Users Leave hand-held showerhead near faucet where it can be reached Be sure all items in the room can be reached from a seated position. For example: 20 Lamps Phones Coffee pot Alarm clock/radio Iron Ironing board Blankets Computer cords Towels Hair dryer Toiletries Showerhead

21 Wheelchair Accessible Bathroom 21

22 Things to Consider for Accessible Rooms Adding power strips to ensure that outlets are accessible Placement of furniture to allow wheelchair access to all areas of the room Provide a card explaining why things are a bit different from standard rooms 22

23 Accessible Guest Room 23

24 Provide as much information about the room and its features as possible o Thermostat o Phone and TV remote control o Outlets o Internet access o Toiletries o Drape cords or rods Making Guest Rooms Usable for Guests Who are Blind 24

25 Making Guest Rooms Usable for Guests Who are Deaf Have equipment available o TTY o Vibrating alarm o Doorbell and telephone alert signals o Volume control for phone Assist guest in hooking up and using equipment 25

26 Disability Etiquette Review Never lean on a persons wheelchair Speak directly to the person, not to an interpreter or companion Never make assumptions – ask if they need help THINK: CUSTOMER 26

27 Talking about Disability Avoid terms like the disabled. Instead say people with disabilities. Avoid the word handicapped. Instead say person with a disability or accessible (if referring to parking, rooms, etc.). 27

28 Talking about Disability, cont. Do not say wheelchair bound or confined to a wheelchair. Instead say person who uses a wheelchair or wheelchair user. Wheelchair bound? 28

29 Scenario Someone calls your hotel and asks if it is accessible for people with disabilities. What would you say? 29

30 The Bottom Line When you meet a person with a disability, THINK: CUSTOMER ! 30

31 For More Information… 31 Contact us: National Network of ADA Centers Nationwide toll-free number: 800-949-4232 V/TTY (800-9494-ADA) Funding provided by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), U.S. Department of Education

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