ADA Sensitivity Issues

By Clara Rose President & Creative Director, Creative Alliance | February 19, 2012

Discrimination – especially subtle discrimination – continues to thrive. It is the everyday stereotypes and assumptions about our differences that are the basis for most unintentional discrimination and the lack of training about sensitivity issues that can result in these inadvertent offenses.

The broad mandate for equal access by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), allows it to affect every aspect of our society. Restaurants, hotels, theaters, doctors’ offices, pharmacies, retail stores, museums, libraries, parks, private schools and daycare centers; are all considered a place of Public Accommodation and therefore are covered under the ADA.

In the hospitality industry, which is considered a public accommodation by the ADA, this includes most of the accommodations, recreational facilities and amenities… as well as the daily practices that the businesses are comprised of.

For Americans with different abilities, equal access means simply being able to use, enjoy and participate in the everyday aspects of life, including working, commerce and leisure activities. In other words, can those with different abilities access the entire property - to use and enjoy it -or will they feel excluded? Exclusion is a sensitivity issue.

With an estimated 18% of the American population having an impairment that offers them protection under the ADA, the hospitality industry has a vested interest in understanding and meeting the needs of that significant number of potential customers.

Where to start

Coming up in January 2018...

Mobile Technology: Relentless Innovation

Technology has become a crucial component in attracting and retaining hotel guests, and the need to enhance a guest’s technology experience is driving a relentless pace of innovation. To meet and exceed guest expectations, 54% of hotels will spend more on technology in 2018, and mobile solutions in particular will top the list of capital investments. Many hotels are integrating mobile booking, mobile keys, mobile payments and mobile check-in into their operations. Other hotels are emphasizing the in-room experience, boosting bandwidth and upgrading flat screen TVs to more easily interface with guest mobile devices. And though not yet mainstream, there are many exciting technology developments on the near horizon. The Internet of Things (loT) is taking form in some places, and can be found in guest room control systems, voice activation systems, and in wearable sensors that can be used for access and payment options. Virtual reality headsets are available at some hotels so guests can enjoy virtual trips to exotic locations or if off-property, preview conference facilities and guest rooms. How long will it be before a hotel employs a fleet of robots for room service, or utilizes a hologram as a concierge, or installs gesture-controlled walls that feature interactive digital displays? Some hotels are already using augmented reality for translation services, or interactive wall maps, or even virtual décor. This pace of innovation is challenging property owners and brands to stay on top of the latest technology trends while still addressing current projects. The January Hotel Business Review will explore what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in the mobile technology space.