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Posted February 25th, 2009 in general news

Have wheels, will travel

24/02/2009 4:00:00 AM
CHILDREN with disabilities are experiencing the excitement of bicycle riding.Northmead charity Technical Aid to the Disabled (TAD) has launched the Freedom Wheels program for 2009.

The program provide modified bicycles to disabled children at a reduced cost.

Lions clubs, including the Winston Hills branch, have donated $1500 to the program and each time cricketer Adam Gilchrist hits a six in this year’s Indian Premier League competition, Amway will donate $600 to TAD.

The money will be used by the charity’s 300 volunteers to customize bicycles. Linda Langton’s intellectually disabled daughter Georgia, 11, first started riding a TAD bike when she was six.

She attended an assessment clinic and was fitted with a bicycle equipped with foot straps on the pedals, large training wheels, a device so she can’t steer more than 60 degrees in each direction and a handle attached to her handlebars which Mrs Langton can use for steering.

“It’s enabled her to get out and about like the other kids,” Mrs Langton said.

To find out more visit or call 99123400.

A follow up on the man behind the site:

Craig Grimes broke his back 12 years ago. From Nicaragua, he launches the first online booking engine for disabled travelers.

The winding turns, potholes, open sewers, and stray dogs make the streets of this northern Nicaraguan town tough to negotiate – let alone in a wheelchair.

“It’s the worst ever, without a doubt,” says Craig Grimes, with a laugh, as he grasps a signpost to pull his wheelchair up onto a street curb. “A lot of people in Matagalpa don’t know how to use their wheelchairs, because no one has ever taught them. I’ve been showing people in wheelchairs how to get around their own city, and they’ve lived here their whole lives.”

Read More….

Wheelchair-bound holidaymaker John Roberts is putting facilities for disabled travellers to the test on a month-long trip – and you can follow his progress exclusively in Travel Weekly.

Follow John’s Report here –

John has also launched, a not-for-profit travel review website that will allow disabled travellers to post write-ups of holidays, hotels and modes of transport.

FYI – If you own an accessible accommodation please visit and register now so others can find you easier.

The National Park Service has launched a Web site for visitors with disabilities and other special needs to help them find accessible trails, programs and activities at national parks.

The Web site —— is called “National Parks: Accessible to Everyone.”

Many individual parks have sections on their Web sites about accessibility, and the new national database is a work in progress, incorporating information as it becomes available.

The site lists places where signed interpreters can be arranged for the hearing-impaired and where visitor centers have captioned movies or services for visually impaired park-goers. There are also detailed descriptions of trails, including the type of surface, for visitors who have mobility handicaps or use wheelchairs.

Associated Press

NEW DELHI: Physically challenged persons in the Capital who are unable to use public transport in its prevalent form will soon have access to disabled-friendly means of travel. The Union Urban Development Ministry has asked the Delhi Chief Secretary to draw up a road map for making public transport in the city disabled-friendly.In a letter shot off by the Ministry, attention has been drawn to the challenges that the disabled face while using public transport. Union Urban Development Secretary M. Ramachandran, who is also the chairperson of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation, has said in the letter: “It is often noticed that various road infrastructure including pedestrian paths, pedestrian crossings, bus stations, buses, etc., are not properly designed so as to be accessible to physically challenged persons thereby rendering their movement extremely difficult.”

“Even after thirteen years of passing of the Act by Parliament, the implementation in the field is not significant,” he lamented.

To make road infrastructure and transport projects easily accessible for the physically challenged, the Secretary has suggested that the State Government “either design a special bus service for physically challenged persons on the lines of ‘Dial-a-Bus’ service in the United States of America or make all the buses physically challenged-friendly.”

Read More from the DailyMirror–> 

The FINANCIAL — Over the past few years, Air France has been making every effort to make travel for disabled and reduced mobility

passengers as easy and simple as possible.

Air France Logo

In 2001, a specific assistance service called SAPHIR* was launched, the only service of its kind in the world, which gave a new dimension to our relations with our customers and greatly contributed to alleviating stress linked to organizing air travel for these passengers. The progress made, in conjunction with associations, doctors and Air France staff has been considerable, and is constantly being improved.

“The past fourteen months have undoubtedly been the most intense in terms of development, both with regard to extending access to existing services internationally and implementing new services both on the ground and on board aircraft”, declared Patrick Roux, VP Marketing Air France.

From the Exmouth Journal:

A CHARITY, which organizes holidays for seriously ill and disabled people, has opened a new caravan at an Exmouth holiday park.

The Dream-A-Way charity’s £32,000 specially-adapted luxury holiday home is at Devon Cliffs Holiday Park and takes the organization’s fleet up to six caravans at the resort.

The new caravan was officially opened by Exeter schoolgirl Ashleigh Montgomery, 14, who sufferers from Hurlers syndrome.

Ashleigh – who is visually impaired and has mobility and breathing problems – and her family enjoyed a break at Devon Cliffs in 2000, shortly after her sister Charley was born.



This comes from the Jane’s Airport Group Website and written by By Alan Osborn and Ben Vogel:

A new era in the treatment of disabled travellers at European airports will begin on 26 July 2008, when EU Regulation 1107/2006 comes into force. This will grant a number of extra rights to passengers of reduced mobility (PRM) and impose new responsibilities on airport managers.

Airlines and travel companies are already subject to important requirements under the regulation – since July 2007, for instance, it has been illegal to refuse bookings from disabled passengers. From this July, however, Europe’s airports will be legally obliged to undertake duties that either did not exist at all in the past or that were previously handled by airlines and others. Thus all European airports with traffic of more than 150,000 passengers a year will be required to assist, free of charge, PRM (a category including many elderly people as well as the disabled) all the way from arrival at the terminal to emplaning and vice versa at the destination.

Airport personnel will have to be properly trained in disability awareness and handling. This could be a major task: according to the European Commission (EC), around 10 per cent of the EU population has reduced mobility. [more]

This article is from the Canadian Press.

air_canada.jpgOTTAWA — An appeal of ruling in favour of severely disabled Canadian passengers requiring an additional seat on airlines because they need medical assistance or are obese will not be heard by the Federal Court of Appeal.

The court turned down a request by Air Canada and West Jet to hear an appeal of a Canadian Transportation Agency ruling in January that requires them to offer a free seat to obese passengers who need one, or an attendant accompanying a disabled passenger.

The ruling leaves the airlines 12 months to draft regulations on accommodating qualified disabled passengers.

“We’re thrilled,” said Laurie Beachell, national co-ordinator of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities. “I think this may be a first for air travel.” [more]