Hosting the Paralympics in 2010 has sped up efforts to make Whistler more accessible to people with disabilities, and Huey Tollett of Whistler For The Disabled wants the world to know about it.
Through his website, www.whistlerforthedisabled.com, Tollett lets people with different disabilities know what services are available - from the number of accessible buses and cabs in town, to the hotels that have accessible showers and amenities. The detail is also critical to visitors, from services offered by tour companies to disabled visitors right up to the width of doors at restaurants where people in wheelchairs may want to eat.
Tollett is enthusiastic about his role as the middleman between disabled athletes and visitors coming to Whistler and the services that are available. He has recently formed partnerships with Whistler Blackcomb and Whistler.com to promote the resort and to provide information to the disabled community, and a growing number of disabled people are using the website and making inquiries to Tollett before planning vacations.
According to Tollett, helping one disabled person to enjoy Whistler brings others - friends and family of disabled individuals, as well as the disabled friends of visitors that leave the resort with a positive experience.
"A little effort to support one individual with disabilities usually results in more than one sale at a restaurant, tour adventure, hotel room booking or merchandise bought at a retails store, and that adds up in the end," Tollett said in a press release last week.
Some of the recent updates include the addition of accessible buses to Whistler and within the resort, information about restaurants that includes table heights, door widths and access to patios and decks, as well as patios that offer shade to visitors that may be sensitive to the sun.
Tollett can tailor information to any disability, from issues with mobility to people with visual and hearing impairments. He is hearing impaired himself.