The docks of Dublin City

The docks of Dublin City

Hello and welcome! If you’ve been keeping up with the Disabled Travelers blog lately, you know that I’ve been offering disabled traveling tips throughout the United Kingdom. Last time was London; today we’ll continue the trend with accessibility guides and mobility impaired access information on another wonderful destination, the Emerald Isle … specifically, Dublin! Even flying in to Dublin provides amazing sights: the countryside is amazingly green and beautiful, and it only gets better when you land.

Many trips into Dublin from London, Glasgow, and other cities throughout the UK will involve a short flight on Aer Lingus, the main airline serving destinations in the Republic of Ireland. According to their disabled travel page, Aer Lingus will actually notify your departure and arrival airports if you need any wheelchair access assistance, including transport through the airport itself and to the wheelchairs Aer Lingus provides. However, you’re required to contact Aer Lingus special assistance 48 hours in advance.

(Unfortunately, thanks to the way Aer Lingus handles cookies, I can only link to their main page; to find out more about Aer Lingus’ special assistance options, click “Need Help?” on the top bar, and scroll down to the Special Assistance heading. This will also show you who to contact if you plan to be flying in.)

On arriving in Dublin Airport, you’ll find good news – the city is in the midst of a comprehensive overhaul to enhance accessibility, making itself more attractive to handicapped travelers and others with special needs. Dublin Airport has information on services for people with reduced mobility, including information on their “fully accessible” terminal buildings. Naturally, Dublin is not the only airport you might pass through in Ireland; if you’re going to do any regional travel, you should also see the accessibility pages for Cork Airport and Shannon Airport.

Dublin Bus is the main bus service in Dublin, as the name would suggest, and it has some great options for disabled travelers. Dublin Bus is committed to a totally accessible bus fleet by 2012, according to its accessibility page. Dublin Bus also operates some local tours, though only a few of these offer full wheelchair access. For bus rentals and tours with full wheelchair access, check out Ireland Bus Guide, which lists bus companies around the Republic of Ireland according to their features.

The government of Dublin has a complete access guide with a huge amount of information on accessible hotels, businesses that promote accessible practices, and accessible travel options for getting around the city. Each resource is broken down according to four different categories of mobility, including categories for wheelchair users with or without assistants. For attractions with wheelchair access throughout Ireland, see the Wheelchair Friendly Ireland page, which lists hotels, castles, manor houses, and vacation rentals with wheelchair accessible grounds and features.

While it’s true that some attractions, especially the interiors of ancient sites like Blarney Castle, are not fully accessible due to the minimal retrofitting these heritage sites have, it’s heartening to know how many places now offer full access! And though it’s true that the inhospitable, uneven stone stairs of Blarney can’t be explored by most folk with mobility issues, you can still enjoy the beautiful surroundings from the wheelchair accessible Sunnyside Bed and Breakfast.

If you’re planning an extended stay in Ireland, definitely check out Assist Ireland, a publicly-sponsored database of assistive technology suppliers. For a variety of useful resources, try People With Disabilities in Ireland, an umbrella nonprofit with ties to dozens of other handicapped organizations. It can offer assistance, information, news, and a variety of services for handicapped people in the Emerald Isle.

Next time I’ll be offering disabled travel resources from Scotland. Until then, keep adventuring, and don’t forget to write!


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