As the demand for inclusive travel experiences grows, the hotel and accommodation industry is increasingly recognizing the importance of accessible features. Although there are many factors that contribute to enhanced accessibility, roll-in showers are one of the more important features for those traveling with disabilities. Explore the importance of roll-in showers, understand their dimensions, and learn how to ensure a roll-in shower in every hotel you book.
What is a Roll-in Shower in a Hotel?
Roll-in showers are specially designed shower spaces that are built with wheelchair accessibility in mind. Unlike standard showers, roll-in showers typically have no thresholds for a barrier-free entry, more spacious interiors, and grab bars for enhanced safety and support. Their inclusion has become a pivotal aspect of travel accessibility, addressing a common frustration.
Roll- in shower dimensions and ADA requirements
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has many regulations and requirements for public accommodations, including hotels. Although ADA regulations state that roll in showers are required to be available, that isn’t always the case. Kelly Narowski, an ADA expert, says that small hotels with 50 or fewer guest-rooms are not required to have roll in showers. Larger hotels are required to provide roll in showers with minimum dimensions of 30 inches by 60 inches. Grab bars and shower seats are also required.
Roll-In Showers vs. Walk-In Showers
Roll-in showers are specifically designed for individuals with mobility challenges, offering barrier-free entry and spacious interiors that can accommodate wheelchair users. They typically include extra features beyond their design that further contribute to accessibility, which are listed in the next section.
While walk-in showers do offer some level of accessibility, they typically have a low threshold that can still pose challenges for wheelchair users. This can create obstacles and hinder independent access to the showering area. In addition, walk-in showers may not provide the same level of spaciousness and maneuverability as roll-in showers. The interior space may be more restricted, making it challenging for wheelchair users to move comfortably
Features of Roll-in Showers
- Flat surface, no threshold: Helps with easy maneuverability for wheelchair users by providing a seamless movement in and out of the shower area.
- Rolling shower chair: The inclusion of a rolling shower chair provides a comfortable seating option during showering. This feature allows individuals with mobility challenges to maintain stability and independence.
- Non-slip flooring: Non-slip flooring is a crucial element in roll-in showers as it enhances safety. The textured surface helps prevent slips and falls, providing a secure footing for individuals during their showering experience.
- Grab bars for support: Roll-in showers typically feature grab bars strategically placed within the shower area. These bars offer stability and support for individuals with mobility limitations, helping them maintain balance and navigate the shower space more easily.
- Handheld shower head: Allows for greater flexibility and control.
How to Ensure a Roll-In Shower at Your Next Hotel Stay
Like most aspects of travel, it is important to plan well in advance so that you can have enough time to guarantee accessibility. Booking hotels are no different. With planning in mind, the following steps should help ease the preparation process.
Research Hotel Accessibility
Prioritize hotels that specifically mention accessible accommodations on their website or booking platform. There will often be an option to request an accessible room during the booking process, which should include a roll-in shower. Far too often will a wheelchair user show up to discover that the very thing they requested is not actually available, but there are a couple more things you could do.
Specify Your Requirements
When making a reservation, clearly communicate your need for a roll-in shower. Request written confirmation or make sure that it is noted in your reservation details to avoid any potential issues upon arrival.
Use Accessibility Booking Platforms
Take advantage of specialized booking platforms like Wheel the World, which specialize in providing comprehensive information on accessibility. Once you book a hotel room, Wheel the World will call and make all the reservations and ensure that the accessibility features are available during the dates of your stay. That includes roll-in showers, accessible features, and with reliable and accurate information.
"The fact that Wheel the World takes care of all the small details that often takes me a lot of time to plan is invaluable." - Cory Lee
When booking, you can filter your accessibility preferences based on your needs. Simply filter hotels by roll in showers, and any other accessibility features you prefer, and you’ll only be shown hotels that fit your criteria.
With over 250 destinations worldwide, this is the best option to guarantee yourself an accessible hotel - the one you book is the one you get.
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