Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Carlson Hotels Offering Assistive Kits for those of Short Stature!

Hooray for Carlson Hotels! A wonderful first! Starting the new year right and on a positive note. It's nice to see that corporate America cares . . .

For guests of short stature (under 4 feet 10) or with dwarfism, visiting a hotel can present a myriad of obstacles that the average height hotel guest will never encounter. From approaching the front desk, pushing elevator buttons, latching the lock on the guestroom door, hanging up their clothes or sitting on the bed, it can be a challenge.

Thankfully, those of short stature may soon request in-room "assistive kits" at over 500 hotels owned by Carlson Hotels; including the Radisson, Park Plaza and Country Inns Suites brands.

The kits include a step stool, reaching tool, a bar to lower the clothes rack and a device to put the latch hook lock within reach! The will become more widely available in mid-2007.

And, from the Carlson Site, this was part of their press release:

“We first learned about the need for the kits through a relationship that developed with Little People of America, Inc. (LPA), and Direct Access Solutions, the company responsible for providing the kits to the hotels,” noted Carmen Baker, who previously led diversity for Carlson Hotels Worldwide and is now vice president of diversity for Carlson Companies, the parent
company of Carlson Hotels Worldwide. “Our perspective on diversity and inclusiveness goes beyond the traditional realms of ethnicity and we want to find ways to provide a welcoming experience for all guests. There are more than 52 million people with disabilities – the largest minority group in the United States. Maria Seiler, the new vice president of diversity for Carlson Hotels Worldwide, will continue to support this initiative.” and it continues ....

"Matt Roloff, owner of Direct Access Solutions, said Carlson’s proactive attention to this issue compelled him to nominate the company for an Eagle Award, an honor presented by California-based Disability Rights Advocates to organizations that willingly provide auxiliary access aids to individuals with dwarfism. Roloff also stars in and produces a reality show on The Learning Channel (TLC) that features his family called “Little People, Big World.” The hotel company was featured in a recent episode of the show with footage of Roloff’s visit to Carlson Companies headquarters in Minneapolis to sign the agreement with Carlson Hotels Worldwide which will greatly expand the availability of the accessibility convenience kits at its hotels throughout the Americas."