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How to Advocate for Accessibility - July 2012 Newsletter

How to Advocate for Accessibility – When I travel in my wheelchair, I often encounter opportunities to explain to hotel staff, a tour operator, or a restaurant owner how accessibility can be improved.  Most of the time an able-bodied person may not realize the subtle nuances of accessibility, and they generally appreciate you doing so….if you do it the right way.

The email below is an excellent example of advocating for accessibility.  I was copied on this email sent from Rob, a Sage Traveling client who will be traveling to Venice.

He was successful in persuading the hotel to purchase a shower chair before his arrival.  I have no doubt that part of the reason he was successful is that he did it the right way.  His email was:
1) Polite
2) Gave plenty of advance notice
3) Presented a solution rather than just identifying a problem

During you travels in Europe, try to take Rob’s approach.  When we advocate for accessibility, we all benefit 🙂

Buon Giorno,

My name is Rob Richardson and i will be staying with you in a handicapped accessible room from November 8, 2012 for three nights. My reservation has been made by Sage Traveling. In observing a picture of your handicapped shower on Sage’s website I am concerned that the small chair in the shower will be inadequate for my disability. I use an electric scooter which cannot be wheeled under a shower. I am also a big man and that chair is too small and low for me to make a transfer without danger of falling.

I have included a couple of pictures of shower chairs of the type that would be much more satisfactory for (me and other disabled clients). As you can see they are not expensive—-less than a 100 Euros, easily. I would even be willing to pay for such a chair. Both chairs are much higher and have arms—-both of those attributes are of great help in transferring to a shower chair.

Would you please give serious consideration to acquiring such a shower chair? Any medical supply company or pharmacy can provide one.


Rob Richardson

Shower Chair


What’s New at Sage Traveling?

I’m very busy planning for our Mediterranean cruise later this month!  My wife and I will visit 10 cities and conduct accessibility research in all of them.  I’ll be developing some exciting, fully-accessible cruise excursions in the coming months….stay tuned!

We’ve spent thousands of hours researching accessibility across Europe.  If you’d like us to help plan your trip, please contact me at

Travel Wisely,

John Sage, Founder and President of Sage Traveling
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