What are your everyday thoughts, questions, concerns, successes, and challenges?
There is a boutique hotel called Domaine de Velotte, Brassy, France, that is wheelchair accessible. I stayed there in 2005, but it's now under new ownership with a different target market for customers. It did have roll-in showers, adjustable sinks and full access, great food and wine, but was in a rural area with limited transportation. Web site: http://www.develotte.com/EN/ (The EN stands for English version of a French web site.) Nonetheless, it might serve as a template or benchmark for hotel access. The current owners have a basic English vocabulary. They do better in French and perhaps Dutch.
I was attracted to your article because of the title "Barrier Free at the Beach". My wife is handicapped C5-6 Quad. We own a house in Destin Florida, and we go there to stay for a week at a time. Perhaps it would be a better approach to intorduce handicapped people to a guide of houses they can rent. Our place is actually cheaper than a hotel if you have more than one family, and we are slowly making it more handicap friendly The first thing is having a bedroom on the ground floor. Anyway, I am not trying to advertise my house- that would be shameless. And it doesn't have some of the other things like a roll-in shower, etc. My wife takes bed baths,and we have a matterss and hoyer lift that we keep in our personal storage closet for her use. And we pack her shower chair each trip.
However, I WOULD like to point out that there are several handicap friendly houses in the region, and furthermore, the beach is handicap friendly. If you do a google map search of Miramar beach, and use the sattelite view, you can see that they have built a handicap ramp all the way down to the beach near the parking lot next to Pompano Joes. Then, when you get to the bottom of the ramp, the guys in the lifeguard towers will bring on your request one of those balloon-wheeled beach wheelchairs. Evidently, the state of Florida bought them for all its parks as well. SO, its worth investigating their availability anytime you visit any beach in Florida. We rented on a few years back from a local rental agency in town. They work great.
So, if you're looking to vacation at the beach. I recommend a house. And if you can drive there, all the better, because you can take all the required equipment- lifts, shower chairs, etc.
What a great idea, Stephen! My brother lost custody of his children when he had his accident, and he has had no way to reconnect with them, due to the fact that his ex sort of carried them away and bought them everything their little hearts' desire. They seem to have almost blamed him for becoming a quadriplegic and while his daughter has stayed close to him through the telephone, his son has been friendly, but while at the same time asking for high-dollar items. His son doesn't seem to realize that his father only makes $1,800 a month in disability and usually has $2,200 worth of expenses, at least! Since my brother moved in with us, we haven't any spare room, so they have not visited, and they live about 5-6 hours away, so the idea of getting them all together at a beach house that is handicapped-friendly would be awesome!! Thank you for this idea!