Q: I reserved an “accessible” room with a roll-in shower. When I got there, I couldn’t even get into the bathroom. What should I have done?

A: “Just phoning ahead and saying, ‘I want a roll-in shower’ doesn’t really work,” says Paul Murphy, director of the accessibility consulting firm Inspired Solutions International and a Thalidomide survivor. He says the only way to know for sure is to have the hotel send you digital pictures of the washroom from a variety of angles. “If it’s any type of decent hotel, someone should have access to a camera and have the ability to shoot a couple of digital photographs and send them to you — that way you know exactly what you’re rolling into.” Of course, if you don’t have Internet access, you can get them to send the photos to a friend who can deliver them at a later date.

However, if you get there and it’s not what you need, Murphy has another maneuver that has worked for him. “What I’ve done is say, ‘Show me your other accessible rooms that are available or your large regular room.’ I will go and assess those other rooms and if the regular room is better but it’s a door width issue, I’ll ask them to take the bathroom door off the hinges, so I can gain acc