Sunday, September 13, 2015

5 of the Easiest Ways that Holiday Accommodation Providers Can Cater to Wheelchair Users

Guest post by Andrew Atkinson 

Providers of accommodation for holidays and adventure breaks don’t always think of wheelchair users. There are laws, rules and regulations in place, yet many accommodation providers think that it’s difficult to meet those requirements. Actually, there are some very simple things that can be done to make a big improvement. Here are five of the easiest, quickest and most affordable adaptations:
Solid Floors
Adaptations indoors might include replacing carpet with hard flooring. Outside, smooth paths are infinitely better than gravel paths (or no paths at all!). It doesn’t take much to add tiles/laminate to rooms and to create paths that are suitable for wheelchairs, yet these changes to a building will make a dramatic difference to the experience of a wheelchair user.
Ensure that someone has access to all levels of accommodation by installing at least one elevator. These can be standard elevators, or ones specifically for wheelchair users that are usually simple moving platforms with full manual control. Dedicated elevators for wheelchair users can be moved up and down manually, and have doors that can be pulled open and manually closed, so that users don’t find themselves racing against automatic doors.
Automatic Doors
On the subject of automatic doors, these quick and easy adaptations in other parts of a property can really help a wheelchair user. It can be hard, sometimes impossible, to push open a door whilst also wheeling through it. An automatic door, perhaps with push button access, will open hands-free.
Accessible Bedrooms and Bathrooms
Providing accessible sleeping accommodation will open accommodation providers to a wider range of potential visitors. People look specifically for wheelchair friendly accommodation – the more accessible the better. Extra wide doors are a starting point, but additions such as grab rails, hoists, motorised beds and wetroom showers are even better.
Staff Support
The physical features of the accommodation are important, but they’re not the only important things. A wheelchair user benefits just as much, perhaps even more, from friendly and helpful on-site staff who can provide extra support when it’s needed. Staff should listen to the specific needs and requirements of their guests, as those needs will vary from person to person. Even if a specific adaptation isn’t in place, guests and staff members can work together to come up with an alternative or temporary solution.
Making adaptations might seem stressful, difficult and expensive, but accommodation providers can really benefit from broadening their potential pool of guests. Good customer service will lead to positive word of mouth marketing, which is the best form of marketing available. If providers can offer accommodation for wheelchair users, then word is likely to spread throughout the community and will lead to increased bookings.
Of course, as wonderful as the financial benefits and increased room bookings are, the best bit is simply the fact that an accommodation provider can know that they’re providing equal opportunities and excellent facilities for all of their guests.
Mobility Smart is an online provider of products for wheelchair users and those with limited mobility. Products available to buy online include adaptations, pain relief, supports, cushions and daily living aids.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Partner with Access Anything to gain exposure

Access Anything Partner Opportunities 2015
Thank you for your interest in placing your information on the Access Anything Resource site. We have spent a decade building this resource in the hope that it provides an inspiration to people with disabilities around the world. Please view our About Us and Bio pages to learn more about the company’s history.
Because of our extensive work in the industry, our following is impressive and growing. As of August 2015, our website boasts 450-500 page views per month, our Twitter following is 155,000, our You Tube channel has 155 subscribers with over 105,000 total views, our blog has over 48,000 views, and our Facebook following is 1370 friends. For these reasons we feel our network is worthy of these 2015 updates. That said because our industry is still growing and we value our network and connections greatly, we have chosen to keep our fees low to encourage businesses to still participate in the Access Anything resource.

It is the intention of this resource page to be easy to read and navigate for all abilities. Therefore we only place Company Name with web link and short description if needed. No other information will be placed so please make sure your link and website are sufficient to help people.
Cost and Reciprocation
Because the company is no longer in daily operation and the website is a free online resource to those in need, as of 2015 we have started a nominal fee for placement on the site. The fee is to cover the upkeep and annual costs of maintaining and hosting
Non profits: $5 one time – or free if you provide a link to from your site
For profits: $10 one time – or $5 if you provide a link to from your site
Changes/updates: $5 per change
Fees can be paid through Google, Paypal, or Square by using as recipient.
If you do not have one of these accounts and need to use a credit card, the % fee will be applied.

Access Anything Blog
Our blog auto posts to our Facebook and Twitter pages, gathering thousands of unique clicks per month, 80-90% of which are first time viewers.
In protection of our brand and standards, guest writers are welcome to write for Access Anything blog as long as these standards are upheld:
·       300-500 word min/max with 1-3 photos and/or YouTube embed code
·       Include a short one-two sentence bio with a link to your website if you have one
·       Positive, uplifting, and informative topic and message
·       Minimal editing required – do your own editing please (typos, grammar, etc)
·       Educational information only - do not use this space to promote your own website or product.

Access Anything Advertising Opportunities
Advertisers will be invoiced directly, payments can be made by credit card, check, or through any of the payment methods above as well as Quickbooks/Intuit services.

Access Anything Website
The Access Anything site is hosted by Weebly in a template format which is not customizable, and we are not web designers. Therefore specific CSS or HTML design must be done on your end and either the code or the image must be provided to us, with a tracking code embedded if desired. We will simply be placing that code and image into our template with your link. We do NOT provide tracking on this ad, that is your responsibility. You are paying low costs for placement on a high traffic site only.  
Locations and cost – 3, 6 or 12 month commitments, billed monthly or at once per agreement.
Top banner, below scrolling images, 600x200 pixels, one only - $1000/month
Right column top, below search bar, 200x200 pixels, one only - $500/month
Central column bottom, below blog links, 200x200 pixels, limit two - $200/month
Right column bottom, below Facebook box, 200x200 pixels, limit two - $200/month
Right column half, next to Facebook box, 100x200 pixels, limit one - $100/month

Access Anything Blog Site -
Similar to the Access Anything main site, Blogger is a template and CSS, HTML, images, and tracking codes must be provided to us for placement. We not provide analytics of your advertisement.
Locations and cost 3, 6 or 12 month commitments, billed monthly or at once per agreement.
Right column top, 200x200 pixels, one only - $500/month
Right column mid, below search bar,, 200x200 pixels, limit two - $300/month
Right column lower, below blog archive, 200x200 pixels, no limit - $100/month

If you care to suggest an additional partnership, we are open to suggestions. Email us at Please allow 2-3 days for reply.

Thank you for your interest in partnering with Access Anything!
Craig and Andy Kennedy
Based in Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Monday, August 03, 2015



Contact: Eric Lipp
Open Doors Organization
773 388-8839


New Nationwide Research from Open Doors Organization as ADA Turns 25

Chicago, IL, July 31, 2015 - The Open Doors Organization (ODO) today released the findings of its 2015 Market Study.  The nationwide survey, conducted by Mandala Research, LLC, is a follow-up to ODO’s groundbreaking studies of 2002 and 2005 on the spending trends and market scope of U.S. adult travelers with disabilities.

“This new data,” says ODO Director Eric Lipp, “shows that the disability travel market has a greater impact than ever on the industry and the broader economy.  In the past two years alone, more than 26 million adults with disabilities traveled for pleasure and/or business, taking 73 million trips.”  The study also shines a light on factors still holding back the market.  Twenty-five years after the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, many barriers to access still remain in air travel, hotels and restaurants, although these have decreased significantly since the previous study in 2005.

The 2015 ODO study quantifies how much adults with disabilities spend on just their own travel—$17.3 billion annually, up from $13.6 billion in 2002.  Since these individuals typically travel with one or more other adults, the economic impact is actually double, or $34.6 billion.

Like the 2005 ODO study, the new research shows businesses in the travel industry the extent and types of barriers the majority of travelers with disabilities still experience.  Among adults with disabilities who have traveled by air, 72% said they encountered major obstacles with airlines and 65% with airports, down from 84% and 82% in 2005, respectively.  At hotels and restaurants, the percent reporting obstacles—physical barriers, problems with customer service or communication barriers—has significantly decreased as well.

The 53-page report provides detailed findings not just on general travel patterns, frequency of travel and spending, but also gives specifics on cruise travel; ground transportation including ride share services; use of the Internet, mobile devices and assistive equipment; and the most popular destinations nationally and internationally.

Reflecting back on ODO’s earlier research and where the disability travel market is today, Eric Lipp notes, “When we carried out our first nationwide study in 2002, the goal was to wake up the travel industry to the importance of this mostly underserved market segment and give them hard numbers on which to base investment decisions.  Now 13 years later, our economic impact is no longer a secret, especially in air travel.  At large airports like Miami and Minneapolis St. Paul, airlines now must provide more than 1 million wheelchair assists per year.  And as the Baby Boomers continue to age, you can be sure our market will keep growing for years to come.”
The survey was conducted online in January and February 2015 among a national sample of 1,291 adults with disabilities aged 18 or over.  Disability was defined as having blindness, deafness or a condition that substantially limits one or more basic physical activities such as walking, climbing stairs, reaching, lifting, or carrying. Individuals who also have cognitive disabilities were included as respondents as well.  To insure comparability with the 2002 and 2005 studies, Mandala Research used Harris Interactive (now Harris, A Nielsen Company), who had conducted the earlier research, to carry out the online poll.

Copies of the 2015 Market Study are available for sale through the Open Doors Organization website ( or by calling 773 388-8839 or e-mailing

The Open Doors Organization is a non-profit organization founded for the purpose of teaching businesses how to succeed in the disability market and make their goods and services accessible to people with disabilities. Mandala Research, LLC, who partnered with ODO on this study, offers a diverse range of travel market research products and services—along with expert analysis—to Fortune 500 companies, non-profit organizations, and government agencies.

- end -

Monday, May 04, 2015

Resting Easy in the US

Contact: Candy Harrington,
New Lodging Guidebook Features Unique Properties for Wheelchair-Users and Slow Walkers
Cover of Resting Easy in the US
RIPON, CA – May 1, 2015 – If you’re tired of staying at cookie-cutter chain hotels, then pick up a copy of Resting Easy in the US; Unique Lodging Options for Wheelers and Slow Walkers, and get ready to think outside of the box. Penned by veteran journalist and accessible travel expert Candy B. Harrington, this accessible lodging guidebook is the result of nearly two decades of in-depth research, meticulous site inspections and copious reader feedback.

This handy resource includes accurate access descriptions and detailed photographs of over 90 properties across the US. From B&Bs, guest ranches and lakeside cottages, to boutique hotels, rustic cabins and deluxe yurts, variety is the key word in content. And although access varies from property to property, each one possesses a unique attribute – be it the location, the owner, the room, or maybe even the entire lodging concept.
Each Chapter includes:
  • A detailed description of the access features of the property, including often overlooked access details such as bed height and toilet grab bar placement.
  • Numerous photographs of each property, including detailed bathroom shots.
  • Measurements of showers, pathways and doorways that are outside of the ADA accessibility guidelines.
  • Candy’s take about what makes the property unique, plus a detailed evaluation of who it will and won’t work for access-wise.
  • Accessible sites, attractions and trails located near the property.
“There are so many different choices in accessible properties today, and I’m thrilled to be able to share some of my favorites with my readers,” says Harrington. A must-have resource for all travelers, Resting Easy in the US is a good guidebook for seniors, parents with stroller-aged children, Baby Boomers, folks who just like to take things a littler slower and anybody who uses a cane, walker, wheelchair or scooter.
Known as the guru of accessible travel, Candy Harrington has covered this niche topic exclusively for the past 20 years. She’s the founding editor of Emerging Horizons and the author of several accessible travel titles, including the classic, Barrier-Free Travel: A Nuts and Bolts Guide for Wheelers and Slow Walkers. She also blogs regularly about accessible travel issues at
Resting Easy in the US; Unique Lodging Options for Wheelers and Slow Walkers ($15.95, 395 pages, 6 X 9 paperback, ISBN 978-0692430576; $15.95) is available

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Project - Wheelchair Sports in Bali

From our good friend Steve - any help is appreciated! Please spread the word! 

Project - Wheelchair Sports in Bali

We are pleased to announce our participation in a collaborative project  with (BSF) Bali Sports Foundation.  A major obstacle for athletes in many countries is the acquisition of wheelchair sports equipment.  Since our inception, addressing this issue has been a core objective.   A portion of the funds required to provide basketball wheelchairs will be raised through online solicitation.  We ask for your help, please click on the GlobalGiving link below and scroll to the donate tab to support this worthy project.  If we can raise $5,000.00 by March 27, BSF will earn a permanent spot on the GlobalGiving  site. 

Every donation will have a significant impact, thank you for your consideration.    "Sport Changes Lives"