Accessible Travel: Exploring the World When You Have a Physical Disability

Air travel has its set of challenges for people with disabilities (PWD), despite industry efforts to make air travel easy for them. Sure, there’s the American Disabilities Act that requires facilities in the U.S. to be accessible for everyone, but it’s a different story when you’re going to another country. This is why you need to make the necessary preparations to ensure a smooth flight — and vacation.

Here are a few tips for PWDs who want to explore the world.

Following Air Travel Guidelines

Let’s face it, getting a fabulous air travel experience is rare unless you’re in first class. It’s important to call the airline you’re planning to book for your trip. U.S. airlines like United have a disability desk you can call to assist you with any special needs, like a therapy animal or a mobility scooter for seniors. Every airline in the U.S. has a disability policy on its website, as well. Read them, fill out the necessary forms, and notify your airline for any special requests you may have.

Choosing an Accessible Destination

As much as you want to experience all the world has to offer, not every country is completely accessible. Wheelchair user and avid traveler Cory Lee, in his website “Curb Free with Cory Lee,” recommended wheelchair-accessible places to visit. South Korea was number one on his list because of his recent visit there during the 2018 Winter Olympics and Paralympics. He reported that its capital, Seoul, and the Olympic host city Pyeongchang are ideal for wheelchair users.

 Accessible travel guide WheelchairTravel.org also stated that the capital has the world’s best public transportation when it comes to accommodating wheelchair users and other PWDs. Planning a Euro-trip? Make Vienna your first stop. Most of its tourist destinations are accessible to wheelchair users. Its Albertina museum provides full access for those using wheelchairs. It even offers guided tours for people who are deaf, blind or have slight to moderate dementia. If you’re looking for a regal experience, the city’s Forchtenstein Castle has wheelchair-accessible restrooms and restaurants. They offer a 50% discount on the admission price.

Hitting the Road Instead

If airline travel is just too much of a hassle for you, you can always have a nice road trip with family and friends. Lee suggested going to the sunny city of Orlando, Florida. He credited the place for having “flawlessly flat” roads and great entertainment destinations like Walt Disney World, Seaworld, and Universal Studios. What’s great is that all these theme parks are accessible!

The U.S.’ capital, Washington, D.C., is also a prime choice for wheelchair users, according to WheelChairTravel.org. It’s filled with historical monuments. It has magnificent architecture and public transportation. The city’s Natural Gallery of Art offers beautiful paintings from renowned authors like Leonardo da Vinci and Rembrandt. If you’re looking to learn a thing or two about science and history, the Smithsonian Museums (Air & Space, American History, and Natural History) provide full access for those using wheelchairs and other persons with disability.

Traveling with a physical disability might be difficult, but the rewards are worth it. All it takes is preparation and resourcefulness. With the increasing number of countries and American cities making their public transportation systems and buildings accessible, you’ll be checking off all your travel goals in no time.

Get the Right Mobility Scooter for Your Travels

When it comes to traveling, you want your mobility scooter to be light and durable. Here at 1800wheelchair.com, we offer sturdy but portable power scooters like the award-winning eFoldi, which has a battery designed for air travel. We also provide walkers, patient lifts, and wheelchairs for all ages. Explore the world with us.
 

Contact us today to know more about our mobility products.

The New York Subway: Why it’s Inaccessible for People in Wheelchairs

 

Getting around New York is a challenge everyone in a wheelchair has to face. Using a portable aluminum wheelchair ramp is helpful, but there’s a great need for the city to become accessible for all.

 

Inaccessibility: The Subway Challenge

 

There are many accessible spots in New York. But the subway is one of the culprits for challenging accessibility in the city. Subways in other states are accessible; all stations in Washington are wheelchair-friendly, in Boston, it’s 74 percent of the stations and 67 percent in Chicago.

 

The New York Times reports that it’s not just New Yorkers in wheelchairs who struggle with using the mass public transportation system. Other commuters, like parents with strollers and travelers with luggage, find the subway difficult to navigate.

 

The main problem: the elevators in the subway stations. Only about a quarter of the 472 subway stations in New York are wheelchair accessible. It’s a low percentage for any major transit system across the globe.

 

The small number of elevators isn’t the only problem because many of them don’t work. Every subway elevator malfunctions on an average of 53.2 times a year. Although some of the elevators work, commuters then have to deal with the issue of foul odor and the inaccessible location of the elevators, typically at the far end of a narrow platform.

 

The Hope of a Wheelchair-Friendly City

 

Access is one of the defining issues that many persons with disabilities (PWDs) across the world face. It’s either a shop has too large steps or raised doorframes, or worse, has no wheelchair ramp.

 

Small wonder then that PWDs are less likely to mingle with other people or worked. Of course, the law requires cities and any establishment or property to provide wheelchair accessibility. The mandate doesn’t only benefit PWDs; it’s good for the economy, too.

 

With wheelchair-friendly transportation, people in New York, from residents to tourists, will have more confidence to explore the city. PWD employees will also find it easier to go to work, helping businesses meet their goals.

 

New York, however, is still on its way to becoming one of the most accessible cities for those with disabilities. Funding is hard to come by for the city’s transportation system, and when it does, it is usually diverted to new cars or signal improvements. Gabriel Amari, supervisor for the Brooklyn Center for Independence of the Disabled, also points out that money for the subway is usually insufficient.

 

Although mass transportation needs further improvements to be wheelchair-friendly, you don’t have to be limited when traveling.

 

 

A Portable Wheelchair Ramp Can Help

 

At 1800wheelchair.com, we have a variety of portable wheelchair ramps. Our products can make it easier and better for people in wheelchairs to get around the city. The ramp system offers a semi-permanent yet durable solution to inaccessible places, including homes without wheelchair access.

 

Choose from our selection and find the right length and weight you need. Some will come with their own bag, allowing for further convenience.

Contact us today for more information.

 

Top Ten Reasons to Use a Roll About Scooter

When you’re suffering from a broken ankle or foot, you might not exactly be in the most positive mood. After all, you’re lugging around a massive cast – so how can you possibly expect to be excited about using a roll about scooter?

knee-walker

There are precisely ten reasons why you should be pumped about using a roll about scooter (also referred to as a knee walker) – and here they are:

1. Roll about scooters make it so much easier to get around. Unlike crutches (which make you look like you have a massive wingspan) and wheelchairs (which limit the use of your hands), roll about scooters free up your hands and make it easier to get around with your good leg.

2. It’s easier to take all weight off of your injured foot or ankle. A knee walker allows you to rest your knee on a comfortable pad, which supports your body’s weight.

3. A roll about scooter minimizes the chances that you’ll re-injury your foot or ankle. Just try getting that kind of promise from those awkward and weirdly balanced crutches.

4. A roll about scooter makes it easier to grab things from higher shelves and counters. Crutches make it hard for you to use your hands, while wheelchairs force you to live like you’re all of three foot for the next six months.

5. Roll about scooters allow you to move around in your house and office without worrying about carpets, rugs and objects on the floor. Because knee walkers are so stable, you don’t have to worry about slipping and falling due to improper rug placement.

6. Knee walkers make it easier to get in and out of the shower, as you’re already in a standing position.

7. Roll about scooters are more comfortable to use than crutches (after all, who wants to use something that causes armpit blisters?).

8. Knee walkers are more financially-savvy than ever before, as you have the option of simply renting a roll about scooter rather than buying and owning one.

9. It’s easier to isolate your injured foot or ankle with a roll about scooter.

10. It just looks cooler – end of story!

Use these top ten reasons to use a roll about scooter to get pumped about your newfound mobility device!

When you’re suffering from a broken ankle or foot, you might not exactly be in the most positive mood. After all, you’re lugging around a massive cast – so how can you possibly expect to be excited about using a roll about scooter?

knee-walker-2

 

This article was provided by Knee Walker Centeral, they offer Roll About Scooter Rentals.

Tips for Traveling with your Wheelchair

Traveling by wheelchair can strike a nerve if you do not plan ahead, conduct research, or consider possible setbacks and delays because of handicap restrictions. For instance, not every hotel or motel has wheelchair accessibility, which may pose problems if traveling alone. Be sure to inquire about wheelchair accessibility while scheduling hotel reservations in order to stave off potential headaches. Those with mobile challenges rely on wheelchair assistance wherever they travel, which includes airline services, boating or cruise accommodations, and other transportation mediums, such as taxis, buses, shuttles, and amusement park rides. Consider inquiring with these services about possible airlift assistance, elevators, and ramps. Additionally, inquire with these services about medicinal and special equipment restrictions, such as designated areas for defibrillators and oxygen tanks. Finding out this information ahead of time can really save you time and money.

If you’re traveling alone in a wheelchair, then make sure you have a maintenance or repair service verify that wheelchair is in good working conditions before departure. The extra effort will eliminate setbacks and delays over broken or repairable parts that will need servicing at the destination upon arrival. Hiring a maintenance or repair service team will save you time and minimize stress while on your trip. Exercise precaution by placing your name and address onto each of the detachable parts before leaving home. Only display your name when traveling overseas. Additionally, bring a travel size repair kit containing all of the necessary tools and materials needed to change a pneumatic tire. Pneumatic tire repair kits can be found at any major retail chain stores in the bicycle department. Remember that not all international repair shops are identical to the service you’re used to receiving at home, so make every effort to eliminate potential problems by acting now.

Cruise operations usually incorporate ferry services to transport passengers to shore from a ship anchored out at sea. These ferry services are not always equipped with lifts or ramps to help the handicap lower their wheelchairs onto the carrier. Ask personnel for assistance in locating any wheelchair accommodations in order to board the ferry and deport for the shore. Depending on the weather, sea, tidal conditions, or technical difficulties, certain restrictions may be in place that limit certain passengers from leaving the cruise tender. Generally, the crew will guide you to a gangway or use a creepy crawler, a mechanical device designed to “walk” your wheelchair down a flight of stairs, to help the mobile challenged find their way to the shore. Handicap persons will need to transfer to a lightweight, manual wheelchair if originally in an electric wheelchair or scooter in order to allow the crew to successfully move the equipment onto shore. Be sure to alert the crew of any medicinal or special equipment that also needs to be moved alongside your wheelchair or scooter.

Most people believe that airliners accommodate to wheelchair travelers; however, some airline services have neglected taking the extra effort to assure that these services are implemented to minimize potential injuries for those confined to a mobile device. In fact, any airline can pose potential problems for wheelchair travelers, depending on the time and day that the flight departed for its destination. Additionally, the quality of wheelchair assistance relies heavily on the airline staff and airport crew that unloads your equipment and luggage. Confirm your airline flights with your carrier within 24-48 hours of your departure. Flight times, numbers, and seating arrangements can change on a whim. Notify the airline service team about your disability, the kind of wheelchair you have, and other equipment that will need to be transported upon arrival. Request for a “gate check” in order to load your wheelchair directly to the plane’s fuselage. Be sure to remove all leg supports and seat cushions before relinquishing your wheelchair to the airline staff. Carry these items with you onto the airliner. Use special bags to store delicate items in between transitions.

Follow this comprehensive list of resources for tips on traveling with your wheelchair:

  1. Traveling With Your Wheelchair or Scooter
  2. Flying Tips for Wheelchair Users
  3. How to Travel By Air with a Wheelchair
  4. Air Travel Tips for Wheelchair or Scooter Users
  5. The Disabled Wheelchair Traveller – Holiday Tips
  6. Traveling with Your Wheelchair
  7. A Travel Tip Guide for Wheelchair Owners
  8. Traveling with a Disability or Medical Condition[PDF]
  9. TSA: Travelers with Disabilities and Medical Conditions
  10. Flying With Disability
  11. 5 Tips for Traveling with a Disability
  12. Community Living: Traveling with Wheelchairs
  13. Traveling With A Service Dog

 

If you find this article useful, please free feel to link or reuse it. All we ask is for a credit back to our site.

Wheelchair Resources – The Disabled Travel Guide

For travelers around the world, they face a number of challenges. Decisions such as what mode of transportation to choose, how long to stay, where to stay and what to do when traveling are just a few of the common questions that travelers need to face. These are questions which can have an impact on the quality of the business or pleasure travel.

However, disabled people not only have these challenges to face, but a number of other concerns. Disabled people who are blind, deaf and are wheelchair bound face additional challenges. Issues such as accessibility, being able to understand words that are spoken or written can make travel doubly difficult.

To help the disabled be able to enjoy the travel experience, we have assembled a collection of resources. These web sites can be helpful for travelers with disabilities. Please feel free to visit these sites and we hope you enjoy your travel experience.

Blind Travel Resources

Deaf Travel Resources

Wheelchair Travel Resources

  • Vacationing – helpful information on travel arrangements for people in wheelchairs.
  • Disabled Travel – useful resource aimed at the disabled traveler.
  • Disability Travel – disability travel and recreation resources are discussed.
  • Travel Resources – information on travel for individuals with disabilities.
  • Wheelchair Travel Tips – tips and information on traveling with an individual using a wheelchair.
  • Wheelchair Air Travel – helpful website providing information to air travelers with wheelchairs.
  • TravelinWheels – database of destinations includes detailed, objective accessibility information.

Travel Accessibility Resources

Handicapped Travel Resources

If you find this article useful, please free feel to link or reuse it. All we ask is for a credit back to our site.


For people on-the-go, check our travel wheelchair, portable ramps and neck travel pillows.

Help For Wheelchair Users: Domestic and International

This article is brought to you by 1800wheelchair – The Wheelchair Store.

Wheelchairs change lives. Wheelchairs free the disabled around the globe, allowing independence and a better quality of life. Wheelchairs no longer signal “can’t do” but “can do.” And that’s no handicap.

But there are hardships. Some buildings aren’t wheelchair accessible, they have no ramps, no automatic doors. Unthinking consumers still park in handicapped parking spots. Lack of mobility makes it hard to maintain positive outlooks on retrospective days for the newly disabled. For those who have always been in a wheelchair, it doesn’t always become a natural extension of self.

Depending on the level of paralysis, amputation, or illness like muscular dystrophy, the handicapped person can lift themselves in and out of their wheelchair on their own, bathe themselves, fix dinner for the family, drive a car, go shopping.

The Americans With Disabilities Act provides a Bill of Rights for the disabled or “differently-abled” as some contend. Schools must accommodate special needs. Government buildings must be accessible. The Act protects Americans, but there is no such Act to protect over 100 million handicapped in over 150 countries worldwide. One startling statistic: 20 percent of Angola’s population is disabled. Landmine casualties in countries such as Afghanistan, Cambodia, Bosnia, and Mozambique are extremely high and most of those maimed by landmines do not have wheelchairs.

Organizations such as the Wheelchair Foundation work with charities throughout the United States and the world to provide low-cost wheelchairs to those in need. For those in developing countries with rough terrain, the wheelchairs are built to withstand heavy, rough use and cost around $150 to make. The prices in some of those non-Western countries for basic commercially made wheelchairs are inflated to over $1700, making them inaccessible to all but the rich. It’s challenging to get these people the wheelchairs they need due to governmental and customs red tape, and at times, corruption. The black market for wheelchairs isn’t high, but fraud can be a problem.

U.S. and International Wheelchair Relief Organizations

International Wheelchair Foundation Provides wheelchairs for over 150 countries worldwide.

Assistive Technology Organization Links From Able-Data, the links provide information to sites that offer assistive technology devices and other durable medical equipment.

Department of Justice ADA Links

Disability Rights Law Federal mandates provide non-discrimination information about the basic rights of handicapped persons regarding employment, government, commercial, and public accommodations and access, transportation, and telecommunications.

Small Town ADA Regulations Smaller towns and cities often do not have the budgets to create ramps and other accommodations for the disabled. This is a list of the regulations that they are bound by at minimum.

City Government ADA Problems Budgetary and architectural problems, red tape and committee problems can provide impediments to accessibility.

The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation

Reeve Paralysis Act 2009 Introduced in 2007 to a bipartisan sponsorship, the CDRPA promotes collaborative research, rehabilitative care research, and improving quality of lives for those with mobility impairments. Signed by President Barack Obama March 20, 2009 as Title XIV of the Omnibus Public Lands Bill.


This article is brought to you by 1800wheelchair; we offer wheelchair rampsrolling walkersmobility scooters, & walkers.  If you find this article useful, please free feel to link or reuse it. All we ask is for a credit back to our site.