Disability Mishaps – Keeping An Open Mind

Keep an open mind - Disability mishaps Cartoon of disabled scooter user

Keeping an open mind is generally good advice at any time but when disability mishaps occur it can make all the difference.

The saying, “Maybe yes,  Maybe no” is something I try to remember. It implies when something happens that might appear to be bad it may actually turn out to be good. This was the case for me last week.

Our short staycation to Niagara On The Lake had a few interesting twists at the start. We drove close to 4hrs to check into our hotel, only to discover they had accidentally given our wheelchair-accessible room away to another guest. Considering the hotel only has two wheelchair-accessible rooms, we were in a pickle.

Accessible Hotel Rooms

The recent article I wrote Why is it so hard to find accessible hotel rooms? immediately came to mind. In this post about disability mishaps, I talked about a woman who encountered a very similar situation and ended up sleeping in a hotel lobby. Yikes

Disability Mishaps

A mishap refers to an unfortunate accident or incident that causes minor damage or inconvenience. It is often used to describe a situation where something doesn’t go as planned, resulting in an undesirable outcome. Mishaps are a way of life when you live with a disability because there is a limited ability to be flexible.

The Hotel Manager showed us one of their upgraded rooms but the bathroom was not sufficient for my level of need. My days of being adaptable in bathrooms are no more. At home, I have enough grab bars in my roll-in shower to make any monkey happy.

Customer Service

Needless to say, we all felt deflated at this point. However, the manager was very apologetic and really went the extra mile to help us out. She called hotels nearby, but none had an accessible room available. Generally, these rooms get booked quickly as there are so few. As a last resort, I assume she dealt with her head office (Hilton Hotels). Thanks to her diligence and determination to provide good customer service, they booked us an accessible room at the Niagara Falls Fallsview Hilton, which we have stayed at many times. They agreed to pay for both nights and parking. It was an extra 35 mins of travel time but we were pleased with this compromise.

Upon arriving at the Fallsview Hotel, which by the way has 669 rooms, the accessible room assigned to us had not been cleaned so we had to wait for another 3hrs. For this disability mishap, they provided us with a $100 credit toward our dinner.

Tired and hungry, we then went up to the (33rd floor) Watermark Restaurant and had a very relaxing and enjoyable meal overlooking Niagara Falls.

watermark restaurant

Maybe Yes

All in all Hilton Hotels compensated us about $650.00. It did mean a bit more driving than we planned to get to our concert event and the trendy shopping area where we did not find anything we wanted. The outdoor concert with Canadian singer, Jann Arden, was very good even if we did get rained on for half of it.

Traveling with disability challenges is seldom smooth but all things considered, our disability mishaps turned out to be a maybe yes! 

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