Sadly the voices of reason are overwhelmed or ignored, even though in the long-term they are safer guardians of our values.
Karin Coetzee, an Occupational therapist of 30+ years, specialized in Spinal Rehabilitation including people in wheelchairs, and furthered her experiences in the United States for 9 months.
Some 2 years ago she had an accident while snow skiing and ended up in crutches and wheelchair. Her eyes were now opened that much more first-hand to live life with realities of needs and assistance that persons with disabilities dealt with daily 24/7.
Karin started up a company and website called Disability Travel after working with municipalities and personally visited more than 1000 accommodation establishments throughout South Africa that were advertising themselves as being wheelchair friendly.
Imagine that less than only 22% of the 1000 were found to be accessible and then only to a degree by misleading travellers with disabilities to believe they were accessible because they had a level access with no steps to the front door and room.
During the evaluations some serious problems arose with narrow bathroom doors, insufficient space under wash basin or at toilet for safe and dignified transfer and inability to roll into shower or no seat in shower.
It is difficult to get the story out of our minds about the wheelchair traveller who booked at an accommodation establishment only for the wheelchair traveller to find accessibility denied because bathroom door was too narrow and had to drive into town to use a restaurant toilet!! Inaccurate and misleading information on website is unacceptable!!
Karin started Disabled Travel Pty ltd with a website that specializes in accommodation establishments with Universal Accessibility. One of the outstanding and necessary features of the Disabled Travel website is to display text about the accommodation establishment with measurements and relevant pictures for the traveller to make an accurate assessment that their accessibility needs will be satisfied and very little is left to chance.
Disabled Travel have now partnered with choosytravellers.com to champion a quest to at least one accommodation establishments in every town in South Africa to add a minimum criterion of universal accessibility to their accommodation amenities offered.
The travel industry has introduced these categories for both travellers, able or persons with disabilities, and accommodation establishments to avoid misunderstandings created by “one size fits all” concept.
The choosytravellers.com website is designed for persons with the absolute minimum of computer knowledge and training for establishments to accurately record these attributes and avoid any misunderstandings by the travellers.
Choosytravellers.com avoids using the following “general accommodation Types and/or Facilities” which tend to suggest “One Size Fits All”
“ Wheel Chair Fiendly”