When I call to make a hotel reservation, how much can they legally ask me about my disability? As a wheelchair-user I understand that they need to make sure that the accessible rooms go to people that need them, but isn’t it illegal for them to ask me too many personal questions? Where exactly is the line?
Good question. Because of some recent changes to the Americans with Disabilities Act, hotels are now required to hold the accessible rooms for guests that require them, until all the other rooms in that category are sold. That said, they can’t ask you about the nature of your disability or require you to prove that you are disabled.
Some properties have an on-line web prompt when you book an accessible room, that tells guests that they just booked an accessible room and asks them to make another choice if they don’t need those accommodations. And if you’re speaking to a live person, basically they can only ask you if you require an accessible room. But that’s pretty much as far as they can legally go.
Unfortunately some clerks are not exactly schooled on what they can and can’t ask, so they go way over the edge. If asked an inappropriate question you can always answer it by just stating that you need an accessible room; and if questioned further, firmly but politely state that you are not required to disclose the intimate details of your disability. And if that doesn’t work, ask to speak to a supervisor.