You are going to a restaurant with a friend or loved one with a mobility challenge. You have tried Google, Trip Advisor, Yelp as well as a venue’s website to find out about its accessibility: where is the accessible entrance, are the restrooms truly accessible, where are the restrooms, is there accessible parking, how far apart are the tables, is all dining on one level, etc? But you still do not have any definite answers. How frustrating is that?
You can choose to “wing it” and deal with whatever you find when you get there, you can choose not to go at all, or you can try one more avenue to get answers to your questions - a phone call! Phone calls to venues often yield great results - if you know the questions to ask.
We at Destination Accessible have discovered, after much personal experience, that in order to get valid answers, you need to know what questions to ask, and who to ask. People are not intentionally insensitive, most just do not know the answers. If people don’t need the accommodations, they often don’t notice them.
Please note, if possible; call the venue as soon as you know you are going. This allows time for someone to call you back if necessary.
It’s important to ask the person answering your question(s) if he/she/they, has personally seen what they are telling you. If they hesitate at all, ask to either speak with someone else, or please check and call you back.
It is important to ask very specific questions regarding your needs. If you want to make sure the restroom has handrails, you must ask about handrails. If you want to know how many steps there are at the entrance, ask “how many steps are there at the entrance?”
There are many other things one may want to know. In an effort to help, Destination Accessible has created a “tips sheet” to use when calling venues to ask about accessibility.
DOWNLOAD IT HERE! - Tips for calling venues to ask about accessibility