Reaching for the coffee

Distance view of the hotel which is three storeys high.Scandic has embraced the principles of universal design throughout its hotel chain for more than ten years. This makes for an interesting case study in inclusive tourism because it goes deep into hotel operations. So it is not all about wheelchair accessible rooms – it is much more. And as always with customer service, it is the little things, such as reaching for the coffee cups at the breakfast bar.

The case study on DOGA, the Norwegian Inclusive Design website, is to the point and shows how all hotels can benefit from small but effective changes to practices. The video below shows how they took a universal design approach. The architect said it was more about use of materials than wheelchair circulation space.

The best evidence on that we are doing something right came from a guest. She told me that when she is staying at Scandic she is treated like a regular guest, not a disabled one”.  Magnus Berglund, Scandic. 

Key features on Scandic’s checklist

      • Height-adjustable bed*
      • Telephone on the bedside table along with the remote control
      • A space of at least 80 cm around the bed
      • Vibrating alarm clock and fire alarm available on request
      • Hooks placed at different heights so they can be reached from a wheelchair
      • Mirror at a suitable height for wheelchair users as well as standing guests
      • Handrail on the inside of doors at a height that can be closed from a wheelchair
      • No or low thresholds at doorways
      • Single-grip mixer tap or automatic tap*
      • Washbasin placed at a minimum height of 78 cm* so a wheelchair will fit under it. The hook, soap and hand towels are also easy to reach
      • Toilet paper holder on the armrest of the toilet
      • Hearing loop available for meeting rooms
      • The doors are at least 80 cm wide, so that guests can get through with a wheelchair, crutches or a walking frame*
      • The stage is accessible for wheelchair users*

*Only applies to some hotels.

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