2012 Check List: Is Your Property ADA Friendly?

By Clara Rose President & Creative Director, Creative Alliance | September 02, 2012

The deadline for compliance to the new ADA laws has come and gone. To the relief of many, the White house issued a 60 day extension that pushed the compliance date for the pool lift requirements back to May 15th, offering extra time to come into compliance on that component.

Some conscientious hospitality properties have taken a proactive approach to the ADA changes and hired an independent firm to conduct an ADA compliance inspection or survey, others have decided to wait and see.
While these new regulations promise positive change for those with different abilities; much more can be done in an effort to offer an ADA Friendly environment for those guests. To that end, a checklist can be helpful; by outlining some steps that can be taken to help ensure a truly ADA friendly property.

Parking and Loading Zones

The need for specialized parking, to accommodate vehicles with lifts and extra space to maneuver, is obvious. Guidelines for part of this requirement can be found in the ADA Standards 4.1.2(5).

Beyond this required access, consider adding the following measures or ADA Friendly features:

  • Additional accessible spaces beyond the requirements
  • Wider parking spaces closest to the entrance
  • Drive up call button for special assistance
  • Valet parking with staff trained to assist
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Mobile Technology: The Future is Now

Mobile Technology continues to advance at a relentless pace and the hotel industry continues to adapt. Hotel guests have shown a strong preference for mobile self-service - from checking-in/out at a hotel kiosk, to ordering room service, making dinner reservations, booking spa treatments, and managing laundry/dry cleaning services. And they also enjoy the convenience of paying for these services with smart phone mobile payments. In addition, some hotels have adopted a “concierge in your pocket” concept. Through a proprietary hotel app, guests can access useful information such as local entertainment venues, tourist attractions, event calendars, and medical facilities and services. In-room entertainment continues to be a key factor, as guests insist on the capacity to plug in their own mobile devices to customize their entertainment choices. Mobile technology also allows for greater marketing opportunities. For example, many hotels have adopted the use of “push notifications” - sending promotions, discounts and special event messages to guests based on their property location, purchase history, profiles, etc. Near field communication (NFC) technology is also being utilized to support applications such as opening room doors, earning loyalty points, renting a bike, accessing a rental car, and more. Finally, some hotels have adopted more futuristic technology. Robots are in use that have the ability to move between floors to deliver room service requests for all kinds of items - food, beverages, towels, toothbrushes, chargers and snacks. And infrared scanners are being used by housekeeping staff that can detect body heat within a room, alerting staff that the room is occupied and they should come back at a later time. The January Hotel Business Review will report on what some hotels are doing to maximize their opportunities in this exciting mobile technology space.