It may have been both the oddest and the nicest email I've received for quite a long time. Joe and I are going to Edmonton to do a presentation in February and the host there is being very mindful of the fact that I have a disability and need accessible spaces. Instead of simply relying on the hotel to book an accessible room for us, she decided to go look at the rooms herself. She said in her note to me that the hotel conference manager was surprised to find that the first room they went to that was designated as 'accessible' had nothing in it that would meet that designation. They then went to the next room.
That room looked accessible, but to be sure, she took pictures of the bathroom, bedroom and door. More than that she actually measured the door and sent that to me as well. I don't think I have ever had anyone send me a picture of a bathroom before! And I am wildly appreciative. Accessibility is an incredibly personal thing, I have discovered. Hotels often attempt, half heartedly I think, to make a room accessible by putting a bar in the shower. For me, though, the toilet's the key. I need either a tall toilet or bars around the toilet. Either is fine. Neither is impossible.
I've had so many fights over bars in toilets that now when we book hotels we ask them that question specifically, take the name of the person who told us there would be bars and then get to the room and check immediately. Ah, the joys of travel. But all of that is going to be OK because of just an extra bit of care. Photo's of the toilet!
Now the way the photo was taken I couldn't see around the toilet, I could see bars in the shower, but still don't know if they are around the toilet. But, know what, when I sent the question I know I'll get an answer. I'll be able to fly in anticipating a room that meets my needs. How nice is that? I used to worry about being a bother, I don't any more. Wanting to be able to use the washroom in a hotel room ISN'T a bother, it's a RIGHT.
After sending off the email to our lovely host. I said to Joe. I remember when 'checking out the bars' meant something very, very different. Oh, well, age.