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West O'ahu Sunset
Photo by: Matt Copps (Stock Exchange)

As the weather gets colder, tropical destinations are all the more enticing, especially for those of us in the north. Hawaii is one of the United States’ greatest natural treasures, and with most folks cutting back on vacations – disabled travelers included – it’s never been a better time to visit this little slice of paradise. Of course, accessibility can suffer a little bit when there are big crowds, but I have it on good authority that beaches that used to be crowded through much of the year are all but empty lately. That’s why I’m devoting most of today’s installment to Hawaii, and all the disability travel information about it. There’s a little more in this post than usual, since there’s so much valuable stuff to cover! [more]

Photo by: Laura Schreck

Pristine wilderness in Harriman Lake Park, Colorado.

Hello all, and welcome back to the Disabled Travelers blog, your source for the latest in disabled travel knowledge. This week it’s all about accessibility in outdoor adventures. Disability travel shouldn’t be limited to tourist destinations; there are plenty of beautiful sights out there in nature that disabled travelers have every right to enjoy. Luckily, there’s a slew of reliable disabled travel resources for those who want to see natural beauty with as little interference as possible from “civilization.” Among these are tour operators and travel agents devoted to disabled accessible camping in a variety of places.


Photo by: strakplan (Stock Exchange)

A cruise ship at the harbor of Rotterdam, in the Netherlands

Hello, everyone! I’m back and it’s time for more news from Disabled Travelers. Since the debacle I described last week about accessible travel problems with Canadian airlines, I’ve been thinking a lot about cruises. Cruises are a great way to get from place to place without the hassle of air travel; you get to explore at your leisure and enjoy luxury, wonderful scenery, and a whole slew of activities. So I’d like to spend some time in today’s post talking about wheelchair accessible cruises and disabled travel on the sea. I’ve had the good fortune to make a transatlantic journey on the Queen Mary II, and it’s an experience I wouldn’t trade in for any airplane, no matter how nice it was!

To start with, know that though most major cruise lines are very proactive about making accessibility easy for handicapped travelers, many ports of call outside the United States are not known for much in the way of mobility impaired access. It’s always a good idea to check with cruise companies and find out about individual stops on the itinerary before booking a cruise. The AARP’s Peter Greenberg has a huge assortment of great articles on accessibility in cruises. Peter covers transatlantic cruises and visits to plenty of exotic locales, including Alaska, China, and many more. Definitely worth a look. On top of that, Cruise Critic has a detailed piece on Top Ships for Cruisers with Disabilities. [more]

Photo by: jnystrom (Stock Exchange)

Photo by: jnystrom (Stock Exchange)

Beautiful Niagara Falls

Hello, everyone! My name is Simos and I’ll be contributing to the Disabled Travelers blog from now on. I’ve been writing for the web here and there for over six years and I’ve journeyed around Europe and the world. It’ll be my pleasure to help you find the latest information on disabled travel and accessibility. And remember, you can always contact me through the blog if you want to share your own disabled travel experiences!

I’m on my way to New York City for New Year’s Day, so I’ve been thinking a lot about the region lately. I’ll be back later with a disability access report on Times Square, but for now, let’s start a little bit further north. Earlier in this blog, we reported that attendants for disabled passengers would travel free on the airlines Air Canada and West Jet. This would apply to handicapped travelers needing medical or mobility assistance, and obese passengers whose mobility is impaired by their condition.

Unfortunately, it’s gotten a little more complicated since then. Sources are reporting that passengers on Canadian airlines are to be tested to qualify for the free seat. Canadian doctors are up in arms – and rightly so – about all the implications of this. Requiring extensive medical documentation is a huge inconvenience to handicapped travelers and requires time and effort from doctors who already have a full roster of patients to attend to. As someone who’s suffered from reduced mobility and obesity problems at different times (you can see how one could be related to the other!) I’m alarmed. [more]

Many travelers—as they get older—find themselves unable to compete with younger counterparts in the mad scramble that travel has become. The travel industry officially helps many, but others are sometimes left to fall through the cracks. Here’s what I can tell you, in general, about travel options when you’re slightly to fully disabled.

Much of the travel industry seems to view “disabled” narrowly as “confined to a wheelchair,” and “accessible” as “accessible to someone in a wheelchair.” The needs of those travelers are pretty well directed by the Americans with Disability Act and the Air Carrier Access Act:


From Ed Perkins @

From the Daily Mail Online:

If you have a disability or mobility problem, did you know that assistance is now all part of the service when you fly? Below, we’ve compiled a handy list of useful questions with expert answers to help you get on your way…

What assistance am I entitled to at the airport?

You are entitled to assistance from when you arrive at the airport, through to check-in, immigration, customs and security procedures, to when you board the airplane and reach your seat. This assistance will also be given when you land, from helping you to get off the plane through to leaving the airport. Read More>>

Exclusive Services Provided by Scootaround Inc.

Orlando, FL (PRWEB) March 4, 2009 — Scootaround Inc. recently signed two multi-year contracts to become the exclusive provider of accessible services at both the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) and Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. With the addition of these two facilities, Scootaround now directly supports the nation’s five largest convention facilities.

“Enhancing the convention experience for all attendees is our goal,” said Tim Scott, Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “We service dozens of large events each month, many with 50 to 100,000 attendees each. It’s rewarding that convention center managers have recognized the need to partner with us, the industry leader in mobility rental solutions.”

Along with the LVCC and the Sands Expo, Scootaround also services Chicago’s McCormick Place (the largest U.S. center), the Orange Country Convention Center (America’s 2nd largest) and the Georgia World Congress Center. Scootaround’s onsite services include customized rentals programs that provide scooters that reside at each facility on a permanent basis along with qualified staff to run rental programs at larger events. [more]

WEBWIRE – Monday, March 02, 2009

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – For the 40 million Americas with limited mobility, oxygen requirements or other form of disability, who want to travel, Special Needs at Sea, ( can help make any trip easier and more hassle-free.

Now entering its third year, Special Needs at Sea delivers a full range of special needs equipment and services to hotels, resorts and cruise ships around the world, so that it’s waiting and ready to go when you are.

Special Needs at Sea has delivery and pick-up capability within most of the world’s travel destinations and can even accommodate “one-way” travel. According to company spokespersons, the most frequently requested items are motorized scooters, power chairs, oxygen equipment—including battery-powered concentrators—however, the company also provides audio aides, patient lifts, relief materials for companion dogs and hospital beds and cribs.

Andrew Garnett, company founder and president points out that… [more]

FYI for those of you interested in finding accessible rooms around the world. It is in the very beginning stages so there database is small but you gotta start somewhere right!, the site is currently in Beta and some of the features are not yet functional. They will shortly be adding photos, maps and 3 new destinations, which will be Brussels, Paris and Melbourne. If you have any comments or ideas for improving, please do not hesitate to let us know as our aim us to make this site as user friendly and inclusive as possible.

“The world’s first instant hotel booking engine for people with disabilities

Here is a nice blog post pertaining to accessible travel information in Tokyo, Japan.