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Traveling With A Disability

1. Accessible Travel general information

1.1. Able Road-Rating Accessible Places

AbleRoad is a website and mobile app for finding and rating accessible places – restaurants, shops, hotels, medical practices and many other venues. It's a perfect mobile service for people with disabilities, medical conditions and their friends, family members, and caregivers. You can access AbleRoad at the website or by using the iPhone and iPad apps. An Android App will be released sometime next month. They are all FREEso start posting reviews today! Here are the links to get started:

1.2. Access Anything

The mission of Access Anything is to improve the quality of life for millions of people living with disabilities in the United States and around the world by encouraging them to enjoy life to its fullest through the sense of freedom provided by travel, adventure, and a �never give up� attitude.

1.3. Ceiling Hoist Users Club

Ceiling Hoist Users Club
CHuC (the Ceiling Hoist users Club) has been set up by Equal Ability CIC to promote the interests of those disabled people who need to use hoists and particularly those who need, or prefer, ceiling track hoists.

1.4. Emerging Horizons

Emerging Horizons is a consumer oriented magazine about accessible travel. Emerging Horizons' primary focus is travel for people with mobility disabilities; everybody from wheelchair-users to slow walkers.

1.5. FIA Guide for the Disabled Traveler

FIA Guide for the disabled traveller
an essential tool to inform you on using your disability Parking Permit / Placard / Card in your own country, and abroad

1.6. Global Access

Global Access
A Network for Disabled Travelers

1.7. Handicapped Travel Club

Handicapped Travel Club
The HTC encourages people with disabilities and their families to travel, to meet and to share information on making recreational vehicles accessible for the disabled.

1.8. I Can Travel

I Can Travel
Explore a broad range of handicapped-friendly travel opportunities and discover special cruises, tours and discounts. Learn how to plan your trip properly and what questions to ask before you set out on your journey.

1.9. Inn Seekers Tourism Bed & Breakfast Search

InnSeekers Bed & Breakfast Search
Listing wheelchair accessable B&Bs

1.10. Matching Houses

Matching Houses
Holiday house exchange where people with disabilities swap houses with other people who have the same accessibility needs.

1.11. The Disabled Traveler

The Disabled Traveler
Web site run by consumer with a disability

1.12. Timeshare Resorts

Wheelchair Accessible Timeshare Resorts
If you are looking to purchase a timeshare that will accommodate your individual needs, this list is a great place to start your search.

1.13. Tips on Finding a Good Wheelchair Accessible Hotel

WhenWeTravel is a travel web site that gives you the power to search for specific vacation and travel destinations, tourist attractions, activities, restaurants, hotel accommodations, and airfare based on your unique requirements.

Excerpt from New Mobility Magazine:

On Feb. 16 2010 one of the largest hotel sites, Hotels.com, announced new features enabling users to search for rooms based on specific needs, such as wheelchair access and roll-in showers. When an accessible room is reserved, Hotels.com will contact the user to confirm the reservation or, if a room is unavailable, find a similar room at the same rate at another hotel.

1.14. Travel: Companion resources

Accessible Journeys
Licensed companions.


Travel Aides International


Travel Care Companions

1.15. Traveling With a Disability-A Complete Guide

Traveling with a Disability-A Complete Guide

When travelling by plane, a good part of your trip is spent at airports. In fact, on many trips you spend more time at an airport than you do flying.

When traveling with a child who has special needs every step you take needs to be very carefully planned.

In previous posts of the Special Needs Travel Series we focused on planning your trip, finding a special needs travel agency, and packing for the plane.

In this post we give you five steps to get through the airport as fast and efficiently as possible.

Step One: Airport Parking

All parking lots have parking spaces reserved for individuals with disabilities. However if you do not have a Disabled Person Parking Tags or License Plates you are not allowed to park in these spots. Some airports provide free or discounted parking for cars with a disabled persons placard or license plate.

A few select airports offer special parking accommodations to any traveler with special needs regardless if they have a special license plate.  Among the airports offering special parking options are Atlanta Hartsfield – Jackson International Airport and Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Check your airport's website for information about parking for individuals with special needs. Alternatively consider getting a ride to the airport and skip the parking hassle.

Step Two: Drop Your Bags

To save time you should check in and select your seats before heading to the airport, however you will still need to check your bags.

Skip the long lines and check your bags curbside, Skycap will take your bags for your and print out your boarding pass. This will lighten your load and let you focus on your child.

Step Three: Security

Going through security can be the most challenging part of the airport experience. Long lines, sensory overload and the need to take of shoes and other items can make this segment very stressful. Here are some tips that can help:

 

Prepare your child Prepare your child as much as possible with whatever means possible. Social Stories, visuals, and practice will help your child know what to expect.

Special lines All airports now have a special line that families can use. Use this line to avoid a longer wait and reduce the risk of a meltdown. If there is no such line or the line is too long explain your situation to a TSA officer and they should be able to accommodate your needs.

Know Your Rights The Transportation Security Administration has a comprehensive section about children with special needs. Before you head to the airport make sure to read it. The site covers everything from security procedures for children with special needs, to medical equipment, medications and more.

Step Four: Walking to the gate

A few tips when heading to the gate:

Make a Pit Stop

This may be a good time to make a bathroom stop. Most airports will have a family bathroom in the main terminal area. Once you head to your gate it may not be so easy to find a family bathroom.

Light Displays

Some airports require you to go through an underground tunnel to get to your gate. Many of these tunnels feature a light and sound display. This may prove difficult for children with sensory issues. Some airports (DTW is one), have a button that you can press to turn of the display for a period of five minutes. If your local airport does not have that option, it may be a good idea to prepare your child and bring noise cancelling earphones.

Shuttle Carts

Some airports can be miles long. To make your walk to the gate easier you can ask for special assistance for a ride to your gate. Some airports have golf cart-like vehicles that can shuttle you quickly to your gate. If your airport does not offer such a service a wheelchair will be offered instead. You can ask for this assistance when checking in or look for a airport information desk and ask for assistance there.

Step Five: Extra Time

If you have extra time before your flight here are some useful tips.

Airport Play Areas

These days almost all airports have play areas. Some areas are small enclosed areas with toddler toys while others are large elaborate production that can keep your child busy for hours. Check your airports website to see where it is located in the terminal and if it is worth stopping by.

Airline Lounges

Airport Lounges used to be available only to frequent travelers and big important business people.  Times have changed and lounges are more accessible now.  Lounges usually provide comfortable seating areas, televisions, free snacks and a quiet relaxing atmosphere.

All airlines offer day passes to their lounge for about $50 (each airline has individual policies about how many children you can bring in with you at no extra charge). So if your flight is delayed or canceled an airline lounge may be a good option.

Go for a walk

You will be spending a bunch of hours cramped in an airplane. Go for a walk around the airport and explore all the new sounds and sights.

Find an empty gate

Look for an empty gate with no other passengers. This will give you a chance to relax a little while giving your child some extra space to move around and be themselves. Park on the floor play a game and enjoy!

Bonus: Disability Pages for the World's Biggest Airports

Below you can find over 60 airport web pages for special assistance and accessibility information for travelers with disabilities.

Domestic Airports

Atlanta, GA Austin, TX Baltimore, MD Boston, MA Charlotte, NC Chicago, IL (O'Hare) Chicago, IL (Midway) Cincinnati, KY Cleveland, OH Dallas/Fort Worth, TX Denver, CO Detroit, MI Fort Lauderdale, FL Honolulu, HI Indianapolis, IN

Kansas City, MO Los Angeles, CA Memphis, TN Miami, FL Milwaukee, WI Minneapolis/St Paul, MN Nashville, TN New Orleans, LA New York, NY (JFK) New York, NY  (LGA) Newark/New York, NJ Oakland, CA Orange County, CA Orlando, FL Philadelphia, PA

Phoenix, AZ Pittsburgh, PA Portland, OR Raleigh, NC Salt Lake City, UT San Antonio, TX San Diego, CA San Francisco, CA San Jose, CA Seattle, WA St. Louis, MO Tampa, FL Washington, D.C (Dulles) Washington, DC, (Reagan)

International Airports

London Heathrow Airport Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport Hong Kong International Airport Dubai International Airport Amsterdam Airport Schiphol Frankfurt Airport Singapore Changi Airport Madrid-Barajas Airport London Gatwick Airport Munich Airport

Tokyo Narita International Airport Zürich Airport Vancouver International Airport Vienna Airport Toronto Pearson International Airport Copenhagen Airport Dublin Airport Brussels Airport Manchester Airport Montreal Trudeau Airport

This above post is part of a nine part series on disability travel. Here are the other posts in this series.

1. 7 Travel Agencies for special needs travel

2. A Special Needs Pre-Flight checklist

3. 32 Vacation Destinations for Individuals with Special Needs

4. Packing For The Plane

5. A Special Needs Guide To Airports

6. Do You Have Your Access Pass Yet?

7. 70+ Tips and Tricks for Special Needs Road Trips

8. Your Rights as an Air Travelers with a Disability

9. Airplane Travel: 5 Books to help prepare your special needs child

 

Recommended for you

Toys for Children with Special Needs: What to look for and where to find them

www.friendshipcircle.org

10 hurtful comments from relatives about your child with special needs

www.friendshipcircle.org

10 Websites to Find Special Needs Apps for the iPad & iPhone

www.friendshipcircle.org

Packing for the plane: Your complete special needs checklist

www.friendshipcircle.org

 

Written on 2012/05/03 by:

Tzvi

Tzvi Schectman is the Family Coordinator for the Friendship Circle of Michigan and the Editor of the the Friendship Circle Blog. You can connect with Tzvi on LinkedIn and Google+

View all 273 of Tzvi's posts

2. Travel by Air

2.1. Air Travel 2016 From TSA

U.S. Department of Homeland Security
601 South 12th Street Arlington, VA 20598
TransportationSecurity Administration

JUN -3 2016

Dear Coalition Members:

On behalf ofthe Transportation Security Administration (TSA), I am writing to share some important tips
to help you better prepare for security screening at our Nation's airport screening checkpoints.
2016 is shaping up to be the busiest travel year ever. Wait times and long lines are expected to increase
as more people travel over the summer and TSA is on pace to screen more than 7 40 million passengers and
flight crew this year. With this in mind, the following tips may help you better prepare for screening:


-All travelers should arrive at least two hours early for domestic and three hours early for international flights,
to allow plenty oftime to get through security screening.

◦Travelers with disabilities or medical conditions who have concerns about airport screening should contact
TSA Cares at least 72 hours before travel: call TSA Cares toll free at (855) 787-2227 (Federal Relay 711),
between 8:00 a.m. and 11 :00 p.m. ET Monday to Friday; between 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET on weekends/holidays;
or by email at TSA-ContactCenter@tsa.dhs.gov. TSA Cares agents provide callers with specific information about
what to expect during screening so that travelers with disabilities or medical conditions may better prepare for travel.

◦Travelers with disabilities or medical conditions can provide a TSA Cares agent with a flight itinerary,
and TSA Cares will coordinate assistance available from a Passenger Support Specialist (PSS) and/or customer
service manager at the airport. This assistance may also be requested at the checkpoint, but pre-travel (72-hour notice)
arrangements are recommended, and travelers should still arrive at least two hours early for domestic flights and three
hours early for international flights. Travelers who are traveling with a companion may request that they remain together
throughout the security screening process.
-Travelers may also download TSA' s Disability Notification Card, which allows a traveler to discreetly notify the
TSA Officer of a disability, medical condition, or request for accommodation or assistance. This card does not exempt
a traveler from screening. Access the card at www.tsa.gov/travel/special-procedures.

-Finally, you may find shorter lines and wait times in the future by enrolling in TSA Pre./®. TSA Pre./® passengers
do not need to remove shoes, laptops, 3-1-1 liquids, belts, or light jackets during the screening process at participating
airports. However, passengers are required to undergo screening at the checkpoint by technology or a pat-down. TSA Officers
may swab your hands, mobility aid, equipment and other external medical devices to test for explosives using explosives
trace detection technology. For more information about how to apply for TSA Pre./®, please visit https://www.tsa.gov/tsa-precheck.

- For additional travel tips, please visit https://www.tsa.gov/travel/travel-tips.

TSA works hard every day to ensure that you and your loved ones arrive at your destinations safely. I assure you that TSA
remains committed to ensuring that all travelers are treated with respect and courtesy.

Sincerely,

Kimberly Walton Assistant Administrator Office of Civil Rights & Liberties,
Ombudsman and Traveler Engagement

 

 

 

2.2. Accessible Air Travel

Accessible Air Travel (PDF) available from United Spinal Association for download (free) or in print for purchase.

2.3. Airline Websites-Disability

American Airlines
Accessibility and Assistance for Customers with Disabilities


Northwest/Delta Airlines for People with Disabilities varias pages

2.4. Ask the Coach: Plane Talk

ASK THE COACH: Plane Talk
Get out there and travel with Scot Chesney's Plane Talk on vacationing and airline travel. This is "concrete" advice from a wheelchair user who has traveled to 38 different countries.

2.5. Complaints Regarding Accessible Air Travel

Please share your stories, photos, videos, and graphics about your air travel experiences as a passenger with a disability. http://www.airaccess30.org/

2.6. Filing an aviation related complaint

Aviation Consumer Protection Division-Dept of Transportation: File a disability discrimination or mobility damage report.

2.7. Flying with a Disability

Flying with Disability
Flying with Disability is a site designed to provide impartial information and advice to all disabled people around the world who travel by air.

Flying with mechanical ventilation from IVUN (see page #3)

Ventilator Users and Their Advocates Are Asked to Contact

– Nancy Lauck Claussen, FAA, at nancy.l.claussen@faa.gov, to expedite the approval of ventilators for flying and/or delay the implementation of the specific regulation requiring a sticker until the FAA and the manufacturers complete the process. Claussen acknowledged that the FAA stickers are not readily available but the DOT decided to go ahead with the ruling because of its many other improved initiatives for people with disabilities. So for now, it is "up to the carriers."

– Providers of ventilators (home health companies) to ask them to contact manufacturers about the urgency of approving their vents for flying.

– The customer service departments of the manufacturers (see below) asking them to make expedite the process of issuing stickers for their equipment and/or negotiate a change in the date of implementation with the FAA.

Newport Medical Instruments (NMI)
1620 Sunflower Ave
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
800-451-3111
info@newportNMI.com
www.ventilators.com

Philips Respironics
1010 Murry Ridge Ln
Murrysville, PA 15668-8525
800-345-6443 Customer Service
www.respironics.com

Pulmonetic Systems, Inc.
Division of Cardinal Heatlh
17400 Medina Rd Ste 100
Minneapolis, MN 55447
800-754-1914 Customer Care
info@pulmonetic.com
www.pulmonetic.com

Puritan Bennett
Division of Covidien Ltd.
4280 Hacienda Dr
Pleasanton, CA 94588
800-635-5267 Customer Service
800-255-6774 Technical Support
www.puritanbennett.com

ResMed Corporation
14040 Danielson St
Poway, CA 92064-6857
800-424-0737, 858-746-2400
858-746-2900 fax
858-746-2910 fax for orders
usreception@resmed.com
www.resmed.com

Didn't find the manufacturer of your device?
See the Resource Directory for Ventilator-Assisted Living.

2.8. Flying with a Ventilator

Flying With a Ventilator, Part I.  This article, in the December 2012 issue of the Ventilator Assisted Living, describes the results of a survey of ventilator users' experiences with flying and the role that manufacturers have in this experience.  It provides resources and links for users of Home Mechanical Ventilation (HMV) who may choose to fly.  Flying With a Ventilator, Part II of this topic is in the April 2013 issue of Ventilator Assisted Living.  It focuses on the role and requirements of airlines, resources and reporting travel problems. 

2.9. New Horizons: Information for the Air Traveler with a Disability

Information from the US Department of Transportation. This guide is designed to offer travelers with disabilities a brief but authoritative source of information about the Air Carrier Access rules: the accommodations, facilities, and services that are now required to be available. It also describes features required by other regulations designed to make air travel more accessible.

2.10. Toll-Free Hotlines For Air Travelers With Disabilities

The hotline will provide general information to consumers about the rights of air travelers with disabilities, respond to requests for printed consumer information, and assist air travelers with time-sensitive disability-related issues that need to be addressed in "real time." Air travelers who experience disability-related air travel service problems may call the hotline at 1-800-778-4838 (voice) or 1-800-455-9880 (TTY) to obtain assistance. This hotline is a service of the Department of Transportation (DOT) and not the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) through its program TSA Cares, announces a new toll-free helpline for travelers with disabilities. Questions to to TSA Cares should relate specifically to inquiries related to the security screening process and permissible content of baggage. Travelers may call TSA toll-free at 1-855-787-2227 prior to traveling with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint.

2.11. TSA Cares

TSA Cares  -  toll free at 1-855-787-2227 prior to traveling

TSA strives to provide the highest level of security while ensuring that all passengers are treated with dignity and respect. To that end, TSA launched TSA Cares, a new helpline number designed to assist travelers with disabilities and medical conditions.

2.12. Transportation Security Administration | Persons with Disabilities & Medical Conditions

Current policies and procedures focus on ensuring that all passengers, regardless of their personal situations and needs, are treated equally and with the dignity, respect, and courtesy they deserve.

2.13. Air Travel with SCI-Video Forums

Traveling with SCI
SCI Forum Report from Northwest Regional Spinal Cord Injury System

The Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center of the Delaware Valley has partnered with Southwest Airlines to create a video to help wheelchair users navigate airline travel. It includes helpful tips for people with disabilities who wish to travel by plane while using a wheelchair. The video complements the "Day in the Life" videos produced by the Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center of the Delaware Valley. 

2.14. Travel Matters: Tie Dows on Airplanes

Travel Matters: Security Checks, Wheelchair Tie-Downs on Airplanes
Articles from New Mobility January 2011

3. Travel agencies and organizers specializing in accessibility

3.1. Accessible Journeys

Accessible Journeys is a vacation planner and tour operator exclusively for wheelchair travelers, their families and friends. Since 1985, wheelchair accessible vacation travel has been our only job.

3.2. Easy Access Travel

Dedicated to meeting the special needs of disabled & mature travelers

Easy Access Travel Specializes in Accessible Cruise Vacations and Packaged Land Tours for Persons with Physical Disabilities.

3.3. Flying Wheels Travel

Flying Wheels Travel
Phone: 507-451-5005
Toll free: 877-451-5006

We plan and organize an accessible vacation that is right for you. We will arrange transportation accessible accommodations, tours, excursions and about anything else you can imagine for physically challenged clients and their able-bodied companions

3.4. Wheelz Up Travel

Wheelz Up Accessible Travel, LLC.

291 West John Street

Hicksville, New York, 11801

Mary Peterson,CTC

mpeterson@wheelzuptravel.net

Office Hours: Monday – Thursday 9:00am – 5:00pm

Office Number: 516-998-1061

4. Travel destinations

4.1. Africa

Able-Travel
Accessible African safaris and worldwide adventure travel advice for wheelchair users and physically disabled people.

4.2. Asia

Accessible holiday home for wheelchair users and disabled in Hua Hin, Thailand
Handicap accessible holiday homes for wheelchair users. Villa with disabled access in Thailand with swimming pool, jacuzzi and included a manual pool hoist. Wheelchair accessible holidays. Accommodation adapted for wheelchairs.


DHC Chiang Mai resort
DHC Chiang Mai resort, nestles amongst lush rice paddies at the foot of Doi Suthep mountain and combines traditional Thai style with modern facilities , without sacrificing any luxury or comforts. The resort, takes out the challenge of accessibility for anyone, more so, if the physical condition of the traveler is an issue ,without compromising the aesthetics and privacy of the resort.

Wheel Away Disabled Travel – Hong Kong City Guide
The Hong Kong city guide is a 'must' for all adventurous travellers, travel agents and health care professionals. It contains detailed information on accessible transportation, over 100 hotels, 370+ restaurants, and top tips for sightseeing and shopping.

4.3. Europe

Accessible Greece

Greece4all.eu

Accessible Turkey

4.4. Homes in France, Holland, Hungary & Thailand

Wheelchair Accessible Holiday Homes
Accessible holiday homes for wheelchair users and disabled in France, Holland, Hungary, and Thailand.

4.5. Puerto Rico

United Spinal Association pamphlet on Accessible Travel-Old San Juan Puerto Rico including hotel listings and transportation guidance.

Equipos Pro Impedidos
Traveling to Puerto Rico?
Rent a wheelchair accessible van for a day or for weeks at a time with EPI! Our rental vans are maintained to the highest industry standards and are offered at affordable rates and favorable terms.
Give us a call (787) 746-7667

5. Travel Publications, Guides, and Blogs

5.1. 101 Accessible Vacations: Travel Ideas for Wheelers and Slow Walkers

101 Accessible Vacations: Travel Ideas for Wheelers and Slow Walkers is the first guidebook dedicated exclusively to wheelchair-accessible destinations, lodgings and recreational opportunities.

5.2. Gimp on the Go

Gimp on the Go
Disabilities Travel Publication

5.3. Lonely Planet's Accessible Travel Online Resources

Lonely Planet's Accessible Travel Online Resources is exactly the kind of tool that can help demystify travel and give you the confidence to make a leap abroad. This 99-page PDF was curated by Martin Heng, an Australian with quadriplegia, and is available for free download via Lonely Planet's web site.

This guide includes country-by-country resource listings and accessible travel agent listings for more than 40 countries, synopses of key travel blogs and websites, and tons of great tips. Available for free download from Lonely Planet's website

5.4. Papa Wheelie Blog

Papa Wheelie is a blog detailing the first-hand travel experiences of a wheelchair user and his family as they explore the world. Every hotel, resort and cruise ship is reviewed in detail from an accessibility point of view. The good, the bad and the ugly of each experience is shared and pictures of important accessibility features that are difficult to find elsewhere are included with each post (grab bars, wheel-under sinks, wheel-in showers, etc.).

5.5. The Ins and Outs of Accessible Van Rentals

The Ins and Outs of Accessible Van Rentals
For many people with disabilities, accessible vans are the key to unlocking their independence on the road.

5.6. Wheelchair Traveling

Wheelchair Traveling was created in 2006 and works to empower people with limited mobility, their friends, and loved ones to access and experience the world of adventure and leisure travel. Contact us.

wheelchairtraveling.com is the first-ever online community for accessible travel in the world. From the start, I knew that I could not review every country let alone every hotel, attraction and park; plus, we all have different access needs and interests. There is SO much to do and see in this world and though anything is possible, accessible travel information is needed.

Here you will find thousands of resources, reviews, guides, and tips from over 100 writers worldwide about accessible travel. I want you to be able to plan a trip the way you like: on your own, with a full-service tour company or specialized travel agent. You know your budget, what you want and what you are willing to do.

ANY money generated from the website goes back into the site–not to pay for travel costs. I work nearly 24/7 in order to bring the world this platform, including but not limited to writing, editing, video-making, technical support, website manager, customer service, sales, IT support, and all the many facets of marketing. See a problem or have a comment? Email me.

At 14-years-old, I was paralyzed in a car accident that completely alter my life-plans. I have experienced the worst accessibility and unresponsive/uneducated people about access, but it has not stopped me. In fact, it has made me stronger. I am a life-long access advocate doing all I can with the time I have to improve our world now and for tomorrow. AshleyLynOlson_wheelchairtraveling

My dream is to see a person with access needs every single day, whether it is at a local grocery store or abroad, taking care of business and living life. We are a part of this world–access matters!

Only Love,
Ashley Lyn Olson