Before I became a quadriplegic I did not notice, doorway width, shower rails, turn radius, passage of lift under bed issues, and, you know, those things able-bodied people typically don’t look for in a hotel room. Now because of the additional burden put on my fiancé as my caretaker I cannot overlook the necessity of having a room that fits our needs while facilitating her ability to take care of me. The biggest problem for me in most hotel rooms that I require a floor lift to get into bed. The inability to use the lift creates major difficulties. Hyatt Place Tampa Busch Gardens Fails ADA Compliance
Hyatt Place Tampa Busch Gardens Fails ADA Compliance
If you haven’t noticed (and, I don’t blame you for not noticing) most hotels have switched to platform style beds to make it more convenient for their housekeeping staff when cleaning the room. I.e. nothing gets under the bed because there are wooden or metal slats acting as the bed frame. This same convenience creates an issue for anyone needing the use of a lift to gain access to bed. In particular, many handicap individuals with ALS, MS, and spinal cord injuries who travel.
The Hyatt Place in Tampa, Florida has this particular issue however as a caveat to that they are also the hotel choice for major spinal cord hub for the Veterans Administration.
Hyatt Place, Tampa, FL Busch Gardens is not compliant.
James Haley VA hospital has been very good to me however the contract department has made a mistake in not vetting the hotel they use to place out of town veterans that need a place to stay. In particular there are no passage for lifts under the bed and zero turning radius for anyone with a wheelchair who can transfer into bed.
At the time I didn’t know it was against the Americans with Disabilities Act and that what they were doing to be considered breaking the law.
Here is the letter I wrote to my advocate at the VA 30+ days ago:
I have mentioned this issue in the past and took it upon myself to look up the Florida state statutes regarding the requirements for hotels at least in our state for accommodating lift devices in their handicap rooms. I recently have had two overnight stays at the self-care unit contracted by the James Haley VA which is not meet these requirements. Specifically Florida Statute 806.4 within the Florida Accessibility Code. I have pasted a picture of statute below.
My advocate in Tampa has been made aware of this issue as well as the patient advocate for the James Haley VA. Currently to my knowledge absolutely nothing has been done to advocate for the correction of this issue. It appears that the Veterans Administration has contracted with a hotel that does not meet state requirements for handicap accessibility and that needs to be corrected not only for myself but for every veteran traveling from outside of Tampa that needs the use of the self-care hotel.
The immediate problem is that all the beds within the hotel are on platforms which do not allow for a a lift to pass underneath. According to the statute a percentage of the hotels beds within the accessible rooms are required to be on frames that allow for the passage of a list.
Thank you for your assistance in this matter. I can only assume that Orlando VA may have the same issue as I have run into it outside the confines of the VA self-care program.
Response as of April 22, 2016:
I went over to the Hyatt Place Hotel Tampa Florida and talked to the Assistant General Manager Paul Johnson about the beds and turning radius in the rooms. Paul said they have been talking to the corporate office and the VA about the situation. Hyatt’s Corporate office is working on a solution, but he didn’t have a time for that solution. HBA asked if the bed frames could be put on something to give clearance for the hoyer lift, and he said the way the frames are made, there isn’t a way to lift them. The rooms in question were occupied, so I didn’t get a chance to physically look at the way room was set up.
So now I’m going to spread the word and see if direct communication with the Hyatt Place Hotel hotel will help simplify the solution. In particular changing a portion of the rooms to bed rails that allow for a passage of the list as per the Florida statute. Any assistance with this please let me know. I will add to this as it becomes necessary.
Statute: 553.504 BUILDING CONSTRUCTION STANDARDS
(4) In motels and hotels a number of rooms equaling at least 5 percent of the guest rooms minus the number of accessible rooms required by the standards must provide the following special accessibility features:
link to specific statute: http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0500-0599/0553/Sections/0553.504.html