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Property and holiday accommodation with wheelchair access

Many UK customers will be older people who have retired and have both time and resources to enjoy a home overseas. Other potential customers may be disabled people and their families. Demonstrating that your company understands access issues and is working to develop resorts that meet the needs of the whole community is excellent marketing practice. Achieving this means that you need to understand access issues and to provide accurate and up-to-date access information.

The following will help you to focus on the areas that matter, and to provide the information that your customers need:

Individual properties

Do properties on the development (or at least a significant proportion) of them meet the following baseline criteria:
  • Off-street or unrestricted on-street parking
  • No steps between the point where a car could be parked and the entrance to the property
  • Level or ramped access to the property
  • Level access to all main living floor rooms
  • An entrance level WC
Any development or individual property meeting these criteria can be advertised here on the APR website.

Access plus

Older and disabled customers are likely to be looking for more than basic access to the entrance level, therefore the more access features that can be recorded, the more likely you are to attract genuine interest from potential purchasers in these group.

The following features are plus factors and will appeal to many in this customer group. Where these features exist, they should be clearly identified in any marketing or promotional material.
  • Single storey, ground level accommodation
  • Multi-storey property with an entrance level bath and bedroom
  • Flats in multi-storey blocks provided there is suitable lift access
  • Wide doorways, i.e. external doors minimum 800 mm, internal doors minimum 750 mm
  • Width of corridors/hallways 900 mm or more and no less than 750 mm where there is a fixed obstruction such as a radiator
  • Level access (roll-in) shower/wetroom
  • Level access to balcony/garden/patio
  • Open plan and unobstructed layouts are likely to be more accessible to wheelchair users
  • Wheelchair accessible switches, power outlets, and utility controls. These should be at mid height, i.e. ideally between 450 mm and 1200 mm from floor level.
  • Developments under construction - option for the client to request minor structural or layout changes, e.g. wider doors.

We can provide more detailed information on clearances and dimensions if required.

Infrastructure

Potential purchasers who are interested in access information relating to properties are also likely to value additional information about the accessibility of the resort/development and its facilities. In particular:
  • Level location
  • Information about pavements/availability of paved walkways within the development and to local services. Is designated parking available at local services?
  • Availability of dropped kerbs, particularly at crossings and junctions.
  • Availability of tactile paving at crossings and junctions.
  • Access to resort facilities - cafes, bars and restaurants, leisure centre, spa, clubhouse etc. If facilities are accessible to wheelchair users (and they should be!) we want to emphasise this.
  • Distance to nearest supermarket, restaurants, bars, swimming pools, golf course, etc. In particular, are these within wheeling distance for wheelchair users? Around 500 metres on a level paved surface would be about the maximum.
  • Availability of, or distance to, mobility shop where equipment can be purchased or hired.
  • Swimming pool - availability of wheelchair access to the pool surround and facilities. Access to the pool itself? Is a pool hoist available?
  • Health services - distance to nearest doctor, hospital etc. Is there an English-speaking doctor available?

Transport to the development

In addition to the basic information (distance from nearest airport etc) it would be useful to offer wheelchair accessible transport, particularly when potential customers want to visit the resort to view property. There are companies that offer wheelchair accessible transport and APR may be able to help you to find and set up a suitable arrangement. The ability to offer customers this option is likely to be much appreciated and demonstrates your commitment to inclusion.

Customer service staff

However good your marketing materials, sales will ultimately depend on the skills and attitude of customer services and reception staff. Disabled people in particular often state that lack of understanding and inappropriate attitudes are a bigger barrier than physical access to premises. The Accessible Property Register can provide online training covering access and equality issues.

This information is intended as a starting point and to help shape your thinking. We will be pleased to discuss the facilities at the resort and your requirements in more detail.

Contact details

For more information on promoting access, training, or about advertising property on the Accessible Property Register website, please contact Conrad Hodgkinson by e-mail, or telephone +44 (0) 114 230 7058.