Best of the Maldives: Accessibility Extra – Amilla Maldives

Amilla - accesibility

  • “Our team have undergone diversity and inclusion training to ensure we treat guests with respect, fostering an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere for all. We are progressively learning how to genuinely cater to a diverse range of needs and disabilities.”

Amilla Maldives is a veritable catalogue of the ideal accessibility for a tropical resort. I’ve already highlighted a number of prominent accessibility initiatives and features at Amilla, but I’ve decided to add this post to cover all of the smaller (but just as helpful) touches that they just keep adding:

  • Transfer Boards – For assisting mobility impaired individuals from transferring from chairs to beds, treatment tables, etc.
  • Hidden Disability -Training for managing disabilities that are not readily apparent.
  • Autism – Can accommodate sensitivities to light and sound, as well as manage the visit to hep with unforeseen triggers.
  • Hearing Impairment – Portable hearing loop. Flashing lights on fire and emergency alarms and can organise a member of staff to fetch you from your villa during an emergency if requested in advance.
  • Dysphagia – Expertise in tailoring menus for those with swallowing difficulties.
  • Visual Impairment – Digital menus with clear and bright displays with enlargeable text.
  • Evac Chair – To facilitate evacuation from villa or island.

Best of the Maldives: Accessible Public Toilets – Amilla Maldives

Amilla - accessible toiler

Another entry in the expansive catalogue of accessibility innovations by Amilla Maldives, this one applying one of their villa innovations to their public amenities:

  • “Our restaurant area guest washrooms are accessible by a playful “fish ramp” and we are currently building a second block which will feature a “whale shark” ramp. Adding to our desire to integrate accessibility into something special.”

Best of the Maldives: Pool Hoist – Amilla

Amilla - pool hoist

IWOOT! (I want one of those) I coach rowing for disabled individuals and one of the challenges is transfers from wheelchairs to the boats the water. We often improvise with manual lifting, but as Lori points out (who used to run a therapy department for disability treatment centre), manual assists for transfers can be dangerous not only for the helper, but for the individual being helped. The proper way to transfer to someplace like the water is with a purpose-built hoist. Also, hoists allow the impaired individual to transfer more gracefully and not feel self-conscious about bothering people to assist them. Thankfully, Amilla Maldives has introduced one to the Maldives:

  • “We have a beach wheelchair to assist with moving on loose sand. For access to the water, we have a floating wheelchair. We also have a portable pool hoist which can be used in the main pool and in the Reef Pool Water Villa. The Two Bedroom Beach Pool Villa’s pool is at a small height, so alternative access through a sling can be arranged.”

Amilla - pool hoist 2

Best of the Maldives: Disabled Diving – Amilla Maldives

Amilla - accessible diving

One of my other websites provides information on the sport of rowing for people with disabilities, so it is a delight to see Amilla Maldives offering our favourite Maldives “sport” of diving to disabled guests (something I first proposed in my 2017 “Haven’t Seen Yet” post):

  • Dive Butler International has experience teaching wheelchair users how to dive. The dive centre itself is accessible, and a chat with our instructors can be arranged even before arrival.”

A great activity especially for the mobility impaired as underwater you don’t need your legs (as Ariel has sung about).

Best of the Maldives: Passenger Trike – Amilla

Amilla - trike 2

Taking a gentle bike ride across the island is a lovely way to explore the Maldivian tropical paradise, but not everyone can manage a bike to well. Amilla Maldives has introduced trikes so that all the guests can enjoy a leisurely ride through the island:

  • “It is possible to get around the island in a wheelchair however some of the sand is soft but we can assist with buggies and we also have a tricycle with a large seat on the back, which is a great option for families with a child who needs special assistance. Especially good for disabled joining in, but also children.”

Amilla - trike 1

Best of the Maldives: Artistic Accessibility – Amilla Maldives

Amilla - fish ramp

Disabled guests are pretty resourceful so they find a way to manage even if the lay of the land is not the easiest to manage. They live in a world that in many if not most cases is not made to accommodate their impairments. When places make an effort, like adding a ramp for a wheelchair, they are grateful for the consideration and added ease. Many accessibility features are fairly functional affairs bolted on as the need presents itself. But Amilla Maldives has introduced permanent accessibility features with an aquatic themed stylish flair to boot. They have craft fish-shaped ramps to beach villas which replace a total of 5 steps that previously led to the entrance. Swish!

Amilla - ramp

Best of the Maldives: Villa Height Accessibility – Amilla

Amilla - vanity

Amilla Maldives continues to pioneer accessibility in the Maldives with its latest accessibility feature being “height”. Lowering access to key features is not just beneficial to height-challenged individuals, but is also a major boon to wheelchair users whose own operating height is obviously lowered.

The catalogue of the villa overhaul includes the following:

  • Bathroom Vanities
    • Lowered mirrors
    • Relocated taps to side
    • Cut out under benches to allow wheelchair access
  • Showers
    • Added hand shower unit in Beach Villa
    • Added grab rails
    • Shower Chair is added depending on guest requirements
  • Mini-Bar Cabinet
    • Reduced the bench height by 23cm to enable access when in a wheelchair
    • Easier access to minibar fridge and coffee machine
  • Bedroom
    • Built a long benchtop in place of working desk to create a vanity area for guest to blow-dry hair and make-up area within the bedroom
    • Removed all rugs and benches from the bedroom

Maldives is renowned for having the world’s lowest elevation, and now Amilla have provided accessibility to match.

Amilla - shower

Amilla - room

Amilla - mini-bar cabinet