From the 122nd Annual Meeting column of the October 2007 Perspectives
Information and Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities
Sharon K. Tune, October 2007
Washington, D.C., is one of the most accessible cities in the world for visitors with disabilities. Here are a few resources:
DisabilityGuide.org (www.disabilityguide.org) is a free site with disability resource information about Washington, D.C., including detailed accessibility information for many attractions and restaurants. It also prints the annual Washington, DC Access Guide, a guidebook that can be ordered via the web site. The site can also provides graphics-free text for access by vision impaired and screen-reader users.
MetroAccess is the Washington, D.C., public transit's curb-to-curb paratransit service for riders who cannot use public transportation due to a disability. Consult Metro's web site for a MetroAccess Customer Guide, or call 301-562-5360. In addition, a brochure, Accessible Transportation Options for Customers with Disabilities in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area, covers public transit, Amtrak, and surrounding jurisdictions. Consult www.wmata.com and follow the links from the “Accessibility” option on the left side of home page, or see the AHA's web site for a direct link to PDF versions of the two documents.
Smithsonian Access Brochure gives an overview of accessibility features, parking entrances, interpreters, and special tours at the Smithsonian museums. It is available in large print, Braille, on audiocassette, and from America Online (keyword: Smithsonian). For copies, write Smithsonian Information, SI 153 MRC 010, Washington, D.C. 20560; 202-357-2700; (voice), 202-357-1729 (TTY); www.empowermentzone.com/smithson.txt.
Wheelchair Mobile Transport provides reservation van transportation in the Washington, D.C., area; 301-294-0600, fax 301-838-9775.
Information about Hotels
The information that follows is provided to assist AHA annual meeting attendees with disabilities in obtaining the reasonable accommodations they require. Please refer to this information when making hotel reservations or arrangements to participate in program sessions and other events. In particular, guests should advise the selected hotel about specific needs when making room reservations.
All hotels have accessible lobbies; several have autoslide doors. Thresholds and doormats are in compliance with American with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations and door-service personnel are available at most properties. Lobbies have marble floors and/or low-pile area carpeting. All hotels have accessible registration desks or provide clipboards to guests to complete registration documentation. Elevators connect all levels of each hotel. Each elevator has a wheelchair-accessible keypad, Braille numerals beside each control button, and audible directions. Restrooms in lobbies and on meeting room floors are wheelchair accessible and have tactile signage.
All hotels have accessible guest rooms. The number of such rooms at each property is noted in the listing below. Among other amenities, these rooms feature wheelchair-accessible doors, lever/lever door handles, security peepholes, ample room space, grab bars in restrooms, low sinks with insulated pipes, accessible towel racks, and accessible mirrors. The following auxiliary aids are available at most properties: flashing fire alarm, doorbell, and telephone; vibrating alarm clock; closed-caption decoders; Braille signage; and TDD telephones.
Marriott Wardman Park Hotel
Entrances: The hotel has two main entrances that are accessible, Woodley Road and 24th Street.
Parking: The hotel offers both self and valet parking. The lot has designated spaces including van accessible spots. Parking spaces have five-foot aisle access and van spaces have eight-foot aisle access. Parking garages are accessible with ramps and elevators.
Guestrooms: The hotel has 1,200 guestrooms and 91 suites. Thirty-nine of the rooms are equipped for persons with hearing impairments—14 rooms for the hearing impaired only and 25 rooms for hearing impaired who also need wheelchair accessible.
Meeting rooms: Located on the lower lobby, lobby, and mezzanine levels, all meeting room floors are accessible by elevator.
Restaurants: The hotel has two restaurants on the lobby level, A Stone's Throw and Harry's Pub. A Starbucks and a Woodley Market on the lobby level. All are accessible.
Omni Shoreham Hotel
Entrances: The main lobby entrance on Calvert Street and the parkview entrance on the southeast side of the building are both accessible; the two side entrances, located east and west of the main entrance that also face Calvert Street, are not.
Parking: Accessible parking spaces are available, and the hotel has three accessible entrances from self-parking facilities.
Guest rooms: The hotel has 42 guest rooms that meet standard ADA requirements.
Meeting rooms: All meeting rooms are accessible by elevator or ADA lift.
Restaurants: All food and beverage outlets, Robert's Restaurant, Morsels, and the Marquee Bar and Lounge, are accessible.
Entrances: The hotel's entrances on Connecticut Avenue and on T Street are both accessible.
Parking: The hotel has eight accessible parking spaces, each located near the garage elevators.
Guestrooms: The hotel has 31 accessible rooms, nine have a roll-in shower and 21 have a tub only.
Meeting rooms: Meeting rooms on the concourse and terrace levels are accessible by elevator.
Restaurants: All restaurants and lounges—the Capital Cafe, the 1919 Grill, Gazebo Restaurant, McClellan's, and the Lobby Bar—are accessible.
Entrances: The hotel's entrance on 22nd Street is accessible.
Parking: The hotel has several accessible parking spaces.
Guestrooms: The hotel has eight accessible rooms, four king suites, and four double-queen bedded suites.
Restaurant: The hotel's split-level restaurant Trattoria Nicola is accessible.
—Sharon K. Tune is the AHA's convention director.