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Tips for Your Business To Be More Inclusive & Welcoming

Updated: May 2, 2019

Great Ocean Stays is not a disability service, it is a mainstream accommodation provider that is inclusive for guests with a range of mobility needs, cognitive needs and invisible disabilities.

We do not profess to be 'accessible for all' but what we will provide accurate house details so that you can make a confident decision to book based on your own needs.

Our range of inclusive holiday and corporate stays are seamlessly accessible - there is no clinical or hospital like feel. Instead, they are modern and welcoming. In the words of UrbanList Melbourne the Bell Air homes as "Luxe Accommodation for the Design Nerd". The beautiful appointments leave you with no doubt that you have wandered into holiday homes with heart, and after 20 years in the industry we know that it's the little things that matter. Beautiful throws and cushions, reading nooks, coffee machines and garage doors up for you prior to arrival just to make life a little easier.

We understand how important it is to find a home that is as accessible as it SAYS it is online. So, we strive to always give you the facts of the houses, their door widths and functionality for people of varying abilities. We will not stretch the truth to get a booking like so many other hosts with 'accessible homes' online. We know all too well how soul destroying it is for a guest to arrive at a home only to find they cannot stay their because it was falsely advertised in the first place. We hear so many stories from our guests who tell us how glad they are to have found our homes and services after horror trips to holiday homes that are 'accessible' .... aside from the three front steps, or aside from the bathroom having one grab rail so it's 'accessible'.

Here are some tips to consider in your advertising.

- Door widths

- Space beside the beds

- Height of the the beds

- Height under the beds - are bed chocs available if bed is too low?

- Bathroom door widths

- Are your hand and grab/hand rails suction or permanent?

- Position of the grab/hand rails

- Space beside the toilet and turning circle

- Sensory spaces

- Height of the toilet seat (consider purchasing a toilet seat raiser)

- Type of shower chair

- Type of shower rose

- Position of controls throughout the house

- Lighting

- Access points into the property

- Invisible disability aides such as vibrating alarms, vibrating pillows, tactile flooring/mats

- In house information in video, audio or braille format

- WiFi - this is a must and details should be provided prior to arrival. This is particularly important for parents/carergivers with kids who have autism

The information should also be easy to find, avoid PDF files as it is often difficult to decipher with screen readers. Put your accessible information front and center on your website, not in a 'useful links' or 'useful resources' tab at the bottom of your home page.

The message for accommodaiton providers? Keep it real! Don't promise something you cannot deliver, or that your house cannot or does not provide. It can be soul destroying for groups and famiiles who have turn turn around and head home because they cannot stay at your house. It is far better to be up front with what you can provide, so that guests can make an informed decision.

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