MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Following a year-long test at its
owned and managed hotels in the Americas, Carlson Hotels Worldwide has moved
forward to introduce the Assistive Convenience Kit for guests at select hotels
in the Americas by July 2007. The kits will be made available at all full-
service Radisson Hotels & Resorts® and Park Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, and
at select-service Country Inns & Suites By Carlson(sm) hotels and Park Inn
hotels with more than 120 rooms. The Assistive Convenience Kits are designed
to help make travel more accessible for the estimated nearly one million
people who are short stature (4'10" or shorter) or have one of more than 200
forms of dwarfism.
(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20061218/CGM034 )
Carlson Hotels Worldwide|
"Carlson Hotels Worldwide is taking an important step forward for the
travel industry by providing greater convenience, comfort and safety for
people of short stature or with dwarfism when they travel," said Matt Roloff,
owner of Direct Access Solutions, the company that created the kits. "People
with dwarfism have largely been ignored in ADA laws and guidelines that
pertain to hotel companies providing accessible accommodations at the property
level. Carlson's actions stand out as going above and beyond what is expected,
and we are very appreciative of their efforts."
For guests of short stature or with dwarfism, visiting a hotel can present
a variety of obstacles which the average height hotel guest never encounters
when approaching the front desk, pushing elevator buttons, latching the lock
on the guestroom door, hanging up their clothes or sitting on the bed.
Carlson Hotels Worldwide hotel brands are expanding the availability of
the kit at their hotels to help provide greater convenience, comfort and peace
of mind for these guests. The kits, which will become more widely available in
mid-2007; include a stepstool, a reaching tool, a bar to lower the clothes
rack in closets, and a device to retrofit the latch-hook lock on the door.
"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."
"Carlson Hotels Worldwide has a very responsive and attentive diversity
department, and is a great example of how corporate America does the right
thing when presented with the challenges of the disabled community," said Gary
Arnold, vice president of public relations for Little People of America, Inc.
"It's a win-win situation for the hotel and the traveler with dwarfism. As a
frequent traveler myself, I find it reassuring that I will be able to check
into a Carlson-branded hotel and know I'll have a tool kit waiting for me,
instead of having to lug my own reach-aids or use hotel furniture in an unsafe
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
upcoming Dec. 23 episode of the show will include 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.
Please visit our online photo gallery for downloadable photos:
For additional information, please visit the following websites:
Carlson Hotels Worldwide - http://www.carlson.com .
Direct Access Solutions, Inc. - http://www.lp-access.com .