Friday, April 29, 2005

Cruise to somewhere?

Cruise Complete issued a press release bragging on Holland America’s private island in the Bahamas, including its access for the disabled in “many areas.” Sounds promising, but I’d still check it out as Candy Harrington advised in a post earlier this week.

A real motor lodge

The Joey Dunlop Foundation is raising money to build grandstand facilities and a travel lodge for people with disabilities at a motorcycle racing course on The Isle of Man.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

More Sand Creek access

Here's a little more on allowing ATVs in the Sand Creek area of the Black Hills National Forest.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Rolling through Iran

Here’s an account of a recent trip to Iran by a wheelchair user. The author, traveling alone, tolerated well the many needed carries down stairs and such to complete this experience that admittedly few of the rest of us will ever have.

More off-road

James Fogeleman is conducting a petition drive to convince the National Park Service to re-open the Sand Creek area near Sundance Wyoming to off-road vehicle traffic. Fogeleman is disabled and cannot walk great distances.

Monday, April 25, 2005

More falls

Candy Harrington of Barrier Free Travels saw the Yosemite renovation too.

Access or abuse?

Efforts to control ATV use in Utah may conflict with users with disabilities that see the vehicles as a way for them to get to areas of wilderness that otherwise would not be accessible to them. In this Salt Lake Tribune article, Richard Beardall, paralyzed from the waist down, said he uses his ATV for hunting and fun. "All we're asking for is reasonable and adequate access," he says. "There has got to be a happy medium" between motorized and non-motorized recreationalists. We just don't know where it is."

Firsthand falls

For a firsthand account of someone who has experienced the new accessibility features of the Yosemite Falls renovation, mentioned in an April 18 Get Around Guide post, see this SF Chronicle article.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Accessing ramen

If you’re thinking about visiting Japan as a tourist with disabilities, this article makes it sound like you may face a considerably less accessible country than you may be used to in the US or Canada: “Only about 10 percent of the 8,500 hotels nationwide have rooms that can be used by disabled or elderly people. The figure falls to a scant 1 percent for the 60,000 ryokan inns … According to the Land, Infrastructure and Transport Ministry, 44.1 percent of rail, bus, air and sea transportation firms had installed ramps in their facilities by the end of March 2004. And only 21.2 percent of those had bathrooms equipped for disabled people.” But there is hope for the future. There is at least one company, Eagle Bus Co., based in Kawagoe, Saitama Prefecture, who has made travel for people with disabilities a specialty of the firm. Eagle is aiming to create more tours for foreigners. One of the most difficult parts of arranging these tours? Accessible restaurants: "The tourists from Hong Kong want to eat ramen," Eagle Bus President Masaru Yajima said. "But it's almost impossible to find barrier-free noodle shops. Even city hotels have few barrier-free rooms." That’s interesting because often restaurants are some of the more accessible businesses in the U.S. it seems to me. Another reason for optimism is the existence of the Universally Designed Tourism Center. I couldn’t find a Web site for the center, but wouldn’t you know that Scott Rains has had a firsthand experience with the director.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Caesar conquers

Does an assistance dog make traveling easier? It did for Wendy Morrell.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

They have a vision

There’s a citizens' initiative that could make travel in Manhattan easier. vision42 would bring a light rail system to the 42nd Street corridor, allowing for a river to river trip in 20 minutes. The group unveiled three technical studies on the project’s feasibility and benefits of such a system Monday. Guess what? The studies show it is feasible and does have benefits. But seriously folks, the project does sound promising from a what it would do standpoint. The lines could make the trip so relatively quickly despite traveling only a maximum of 15 mph because the lines would run through pedestrian malls dedicated to the system, making it is easy to board and let off passengers. The design also would be accessible to wheelchairs, strollers and people who have trouble with stairs. The renderings at the vision 42 homepage make it clearer. Perhaps the proposal is one of those too pie in the sky ideas. It has not attracted much press and hasn’t been bandied about much in the blogosphere either. Still, someone’s gotta have the vision and there’s no doubt that this would be transit that people using wheelchairs would benefit from.

Monday, April 18, 2005

Friendlier falls

The Lower Yosemite Falls trail complex has been renovated and was set to be dedicated today. The renovated site is considerably more friendly to wheelchair use, reports say. Also included is a miniature of the site, that the visually impaired to use to get a feel for how it looks. One more renovation project down, many more to go. By the way, according to the National Park Service, the waterfall is often dry by August, so if that’s the site you’re looking to see, plan for a spring-early summer visit.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Trying their wings

Next week, young people with physical disabilities and serious illnesses will experience a time of their life at the Day in the Sky event in Watsonville, CA. The Register-Pajaronian says: “The youths will be encouraged to take control of the crafts for brief periods, said Theron Wright, director of operations and event coordinator for Challenge Air. ‘We want to this to be a hands-on experience and a memory for life,’ said Wright, a physically challenged pilot. ‘This is about focusing on their abilities regardless of their challenges. Day in the Sky is designed to help these youths ask, 'What can I do?' I want them to think outside the box and expand their dreams and themselves.’” Travel for people with disablities blogger Scott Rains is quoted too. Maybe some of these young people will be inspired to pursue the ability to travel for all, despite the challenges one may face.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Air Ambulance sponsors SATH

Air Ambulance has announced that it is joining up as a silver sponsor of the Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality. Air Ambulance offers services that could get you back from abroad if you become ill or are injured beyond the point where regular commercial air travel is practical.

Getting Around becomes Get Around Guide -- the blog

Welcome to Get Around Guide, a slightly renamed version of Getting Around, a blog on disabled travel. Get Around Guide will have the same aim as Getting Around -- highlighting news significant to those who have disabilities and love to travel, with a little commentary thrown in. Why move? Well I wanted to be able to take advantage of the many features available in a more conventional blogging scenario than what was available with the 2Hill Media web space. Check in more often. We're going to be posting more frequently. I think.