Source: Accor

Accor, Valuable 500, Accessibility Research Association, and Colorful Earth announced the launch of the Disability Inclusion Self-Assessment Hotel Toolkit – a user-friendly, self-assessment guide that allows hotels, resorts, and other hospitality providers to conduct a comprehensive evaluation of their accessibility and inclusiveness practices. The Disability Inclusion Self-Assessment Hotel Toolkit was introduced at the 6th Technology Accessibility Development Conference (TADC) held by Accessibility Research Association at the Special Education College of Beijing Union University.

Hospitality is about people, and Accor is devoted to welcoming others, accepting and valuing differences, and fostering a culture of inclusion – which is why it was so important to us to participate in the launch of this Toolkit. Our aim is to not only support our own hotels, but to improve accessibility throughout the industry. With diversity, equity and inclusion so essential to our own success, we will do all we can to keep making the world a more inviting place for our guests and our employees. Gary Rosen, CEO, Accor Greater China

The Toolkit is designed to be shared across the hospitality industry to address the wide-ranging needs of this community and dovetails with Accor’s longstanding commitment and proactive approach to diversity, equality, and inclusion. With close to 700 hotels across Greater China, Accor will encourage its hotel teams to partake in the Toolkit assessment process to further their continuous efforts in driving openness and workplace equality, preventing discrimination, providing opportunities that empower all people, and promoting hospitality’s role as a social elevator.

True inclusion is not just a policy, a facility or a program – it is a culture, an attitude, and Accor is leading the way, demonstrating its values through actions, while expressing sincere respect and understanding for everyone. With the Toolkit, we are encouraging hotels to take that first step of improving accessibility and enhancing disability inclusion by participating in a simple gap analysis to understand what features they may be missing and what improvements can be made. However, accessibility is not the goal or an end point – it is actually the starting point of how we shift our societal mindset toward achieving a more inclusive and sustainable society. Let’s make progress together. Koko Tang, Founder of Colorful Earth

The Toolkit encompasses more than 250 indicators, providing hotels with a user-friendly interface for evaluating the inclusiveness of their governance, facilities and operations. Criteria include barrier-free infrastructure, accessibility aids, governance and policies, public awareness, capacity building, information accessibility, disclosure and reporting, and authentic representation of disability community in communications. The Toolkit also helps people better understand accessibility and inclusion, with definitions, examples, and best practices. It also explores the evolving perceptions of disability inclusion and self-identification, as well as challenges specific to the hospitality industry.

Created with consultation from experts and members of the disability community, Disability Inclusion Self-Assessment Hotel Toolkit aims to help hoteliers deepen their understanding of the challenges and barriers that travelers with disabilities can face, while emphasizing the importance of sharing information about a hotel’s accessibility. A survey of travelers conducted by Valuable 500 in 2022 revealed that more than three-quarters of respondents in the USA said they do extra planning to ensure a property will be accessible for them, while a third of disabled people in China said they research a destination to ensure their needs will be met before booking a trip. Other surveys have shown that 95% of visitors with special access requirements look for accessibility criteria before deciding to visit a place, and nine out of 10 simply won’t visit unless they can confirm its suitability for their needs.

When a hotel, restaurant, or transport provider is inaccessible, a huge portion of potential guests are shut out. The potential can be rewarding to reach a broader market, by placing disabled staff and customers at the core of the service model. Hotels must consider disability inclusion in every aspect of the guest experience, and it is essential to reconsider the process and procedures that are in place and be open to change. Everyone should have the right to enjoy hospitality and travel, no matter their ability. Ryan Curtis-Johnson, Chief Communications Officer, The Valuable 500

As a hospitality leader, Accor aims to set an example for the industry. The company engages in multiple training efforts and actions to raise awareness that are essential for changing perceptions and mindsets around disabilities. The company strives to remove obstacles and stigma around identifying as disabled, respecting that 80% of disabilities are invisible. With a multi-faceted approach to addressing its own teams as well as guests and the broader public, Accor joined the Valuable 500 in 2021 to support the global vision of making inclusivity the norm. Examples of Accor’s initiatives include:

  • Smart Room’ concepts – Guestroom accessibility improvements are being introduced, with customizable features such as height-adjustable beds, floor lighting, and showers with removable walls and adjustable jets.
  • Signatory of the Global Business and Disability Network (GBDN) of the International Labor Organization (ILO) – Accor has adopted its 10 principles and actively fosters employment of people with disabilities. As the chairman unit of GBDN China Chapter, Accor’s Chinese recruitment official account has created a category for highlighting fully-accessible job listings.
  • Employment opportunities – In China, Accor offers graduates with disabilities six-month internships for valuable job training and opportunities for long-term employment. Novotel Shanghai Atlantis, for example, has welcomed 167 trainees.
  • ‘Accor World DuoDays’ – Accor hotel teams pair up with people with disabilities, taking them along in their daily operational roles while gaining a better understanding of the frequent challenges disabilities present. In Greater China, this initiative is in partnership with beYoureyeS, a Chinese NGO, and participants are also granted a 100-day empowerment program with Accor Talent & Culture teams providing employment skills and career development support.
  • Ongoing staff training – Accor Greater China continuously provides staff training modules on the needs of people with specific disabilities, in order to foster a mindset of accessibility and inclusion in its service culture. For example, staff receive training and instruction on communication etiquette and special considerations for people with visually impairment.
  • Olympic and Paralympic Games Paris 2024 – Accor is proud to be an official partner of this global platform for raising awareness and promoting inclusion of people with disabilities.

About Accor, a world-leading hospitality group

Accor is a world leading hospitality group offering experiences across more than 110 countries in 5,600 properties, 10,000 food & beverage venues, wellness facilities or flexible workspaces. The Group has one of the industry's most diverse hospitality ecosystems, encompassing more than 45 hotel brands from luxury to economy, as well as Lifestyle with Ennismore. Accor is committed to taking positive action in terms of business ethics & integrity, responsible tourism, sustainable development, community outreach, and diversity & inclusion. Founded in 1967, Accor SA is headquartered in France and publicly listed on Euronext Paris (ISIN code: FR0000120404) and on the OTC Market (Ticker: ACCYY) in the United States. For more information, please visit or follow us on X, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and TikTok