When I recently attempted a weekend getaway to Atlantic City, N.J., I found hotel personnel were shockingly uninformed about the very people accessible rooms were designed to service. Some didn’t see the beds as high at all. Others thought we all travel with motorized hoists or musclemen health aides to toss us in at night. One even asked why I couldn’t stand (true!). But most just couldn’t wrap their heads around the concept of someone in a wheelchair needing to transfer laterally onto a bed without assistance.

To make matters worse, the runaround I got trying to find someone to even measure the bed height in an accessible room was a Herculean feat requiring numerous emails and dozens of phone calls. After speaking to everyone from reservation takers to the head of housekeeping, I landed in the voicemail of the executive director of the front office. The gentleman was well aware of the bed-height issue because his elderly mother complained about the very same thing all the time. The solution was one that I had proposed in my very first email to the hotel — if possible, simply remove the box spring and place the mattress directly onto the bed frame.

JT-Headshot-#2Of course there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all-disabled hotel room, but it’s perfectly reasonable to expect lodgings