23 Mar 2011

One of the most exciting developments since the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act 20 years ago has been the opportunity for travelers with disabilities to secure and enjoy a variety of lodging opportunities and experiences.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, Americans with disabilities have $175 billion in discretionary spending power. When it comes to travel, people with disabilities and their families return to their favorite vacation spots, hotels and restaurants because of the quality of service and ease of accessibility. The ADA has been a catalyst in encouraging the hospitality industry to recognize the economic potential of creating accessible lodging that accommodates the needs of people with disabilities.

To that end, I am pleased to compliment the new JW Marriott Indianapolis on its grand opening and its commitment to the creation of the most accessible and largest JW Marriott in the world. I was privileged to serve on the Marriott Place Indianapolis design team, consulting on the accessible features of the JW Marriott Indianapolis, the Fairfield Inn & Suites and the JW Marriott Convention Center.

All of these facilities were designed to host visitors with a variety of accommodation needs. The Fehribach Group provided consultation on the fully accessible hotel bar and restaurant areas, along with the guest rooms and showers, convention and gathering spaces, and parking services. The JW Marriott provides guests with deluxe accommodations, and for those who seek a more affordable price point without sacrificing the luxury, the adjoining Fairfield Inn & Suites is also an accessible option.

The JW Marriott Indianapolis is also connected to the newly renovated Indiana Convention Center via skybridge and gives visitors and guests access to some of our city’s greatest tourist attractions. Guests are just blocks from Victory Field, the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, Indiana State Museum, Lucas Oil Stadium and Conseco Fieldhouse, to name a few.

Providing people with disabilities a variety of options is what makes an experience inclusive. I often remind my clients that when a facility design works for people with disabilities, it works for all. The recent opening of these new venues give our guests with disabilities the freedom to make a choice and participate alongside every visitor. It’s what makes our community both unique – and inclusive.

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