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Making Your Bed & Breakfast Handicap Accessible

Apr 26, 2008
Unless you have a disability or you are closely associated with someone that does, it can be easy to overlook the needs of those with a disability. This is a common mistake with small businesses such as a bed & breakfast. However, you can quickly turn that around just by becoming more aware of what is going on with them.

This is likely something you didn't thing of initially though. If you are still in the planning stages of your bed & breakfast business, try to incorporate these concepts into the place you purchase. You definitely want to make sure it offers rooms for guests both upstairs and downstairs. If you already have your bed & breakfast location, you may have to invest in some changes.

For those still looking at locations, you will want to examine the entryways. Is it going to be possible to get a full sized wheelchair to fit through them? You don't want someone to come to your bed & breakfast and then be restricted because of this. There are all sizes of wheelchairs out there and many of them are compact. If you offer enough room for a full sized wheelchair then everyone should be able to fit without any problems.

If you aren't sure what elements of the bed & breakfast to consider, get some help from those with disabilities. They are definitely experts in the field and can give you excellent advice. You will also find a handful of organizations out there that will conduct a free evaluation for you. They are very dedicated to serving those with disabilities so you will be proud of your efforts.

The exterior of the bed & breakfast needs to be examined closely as well. Individuals with a special need will be looking at it as well. Make sure your online pictures show it as well. You will want to have a wheelchair ramp in addition to the front steps. They will be looking for all of the various features that are going to make your bed & breakfast location comfortable for them.

If you offer any outdoor activities such as a garden, make sure the sidewalks are wide enough for a wheelchair to easily get down the path. You will be surprised at how these details can make a difference for someone. Again, measure with a standard sized wheelchair so that you won't leave anyone out of the equation.

You may not realize how much being handicap accessible is going to benefit your bed & breakfast. However, the larger market that you are able to reach, the more successful you will be. To help you be ready, you should ask the consumers when they make the reservation if they need any special accommodations.

It can be easy to overlook the needs of those that are handicap. Your awareness of the issues though can definitely help inspire you to do whatever it takes to make your bed & breakfast a haven for those that enjoy traveling but do have some special needs. You can be sure those that visit your bed & breakfast are going to be very happy to report to others that your bed & breakfast is the perfect place to visit.
About the Author
Patti Rob writes about the Bed & Breakfast industry. The challenges, myths and emerging trends for buying, running and operating a start a Bed & Breakfast.
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