A new website is providing a one-stop-shop for people with disability and their families or carers to discover the best accessible holiday accommodation spots around Australia.
Kerry Williams, founder of Accessible Accommodation, knows first hand the difficulties of finding a holiday location for people with disability who have mobility needs. “My mum has MS and when we went away on holidays, I really struggled to find accommodation that was suitable for her needs,” says Kerry.
“I spent so much time scouting out accommodation and asking all the right questions before we set off, only to find out when we arrived that the property was not accessible in all areas. It was really hard and we were often disappointed.”
Now, 12 months on Kerry and her husband Grant are leading the way in helping people to discover a new kind of holiday experience. One that is enjoyable and stress-free for the whole family.
The pair have created an online platform, called Accessible Accommodation, to make finding holiday accommodation for people with disability as easy as possible. Currently, there are around 70 accessible properties listed on the site from across Australia and, more recently, for international destinations like Bali and New Zealand.
Kerry says one of the best things about the site is the amount of information that is available for each property. “There are detailed descriptions of each property on the site with photos and videos as well as a list of accessible activities in each destination,” says Kerry.
For people with mobility needs, the destination is not often the first priority. “It’s not so much about the pretty views,” reveals Kerry. “First, people want to know if they can access the bathroom and shower and if they can get in and out of bed. It’s only then that people tend to consider where they want to go on holiday,” says Kerry.
Just as every holiday is unique, so is everyone’s individual needs. Kerry advises these tips for finding the right accessible accommodation:
- Arm yourself with information, check other traveller reviews and ask lots of questions before you book.
- Be flexible with the destination to find the right accommodation to suit your needs first.
- Talk to others about their experiences or join a community group like ‘The Accessible Group’ on Facebook.
Accessible Accommodation hopes to expand its offering in future for people with disability to cover accessible travel experiences, activities, local restaurants, equipment hire specialists, and more.
“We receive a lot of feedback from people about their experiences. Some people haven’t been on a holiday for many years and others didn’t even know that travel was possible for them,” says Kerry. “There are many who just don’t travel out of fear, but we are here to say that it is possible.”
For more information, visit accessibleaccommodation.com.au