Wednesday, July 26, 2006

It was the best of times; it was the best of times

Jeannie Amendola, who is visually impaired, has been appointed to the board of The Able Trust. Here is a question and answer from her on disabled travel from a recent interview with an Orlando Sentinel writer.

Q: What's the best and worst thing about being a disabled traveler?

A: I have never allowed my disability to hinder me, travelwise. I've been on a Mediterranean cruise. I've been to Europe many times. One of my fondest experiences is when I went to Hawaii and the resort we were staying at had swimming with dolphins. I had the opportunity to do that, and for someone who has a visual disability it was a fabulous experience to get into the water and actually touch the dolphin and to feed the dolphin.

The rest of the article is here.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Waking up to accessibility

Via Rolling Rains:

Gerald Ensley of the Tallahasee Democrat has had an epiphany about ADA mandated accessibility.

It's great that he now recognizes the importance, but can we really wait for everyone who is ambivalent about accessibility to injure themselves so they can finally appreciate it?

Achieving the right level


"Sugarite Canyon State Park near Raton, N.M., has a new wheelchair-accessible floating dock thanks to the efforts of a 13-year-old Boy Scout.

"Bryce Pfeiffer of Raton raised more than $15,000 to buy the 10- by 20-foot dock for Lake Maloya. It will enable people in wheelchairs to go fishing safely even when the lake level fluctuates."

More info on Sugarite Canyon State Park here.

Bryce -- Thank you for your efforts.

Not loched out

You know the world is getting more accessible when a boat that heads to the remote island of Inchcailloch in Loch Lomond is built to accomodate wheelchair users. And it's solar powered too.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Discrimination not part of bargain

AirAsia joins the group of airlines that feel they can't afford to service disabled passengers.

What is it about these cut-rate airlines that makes them feel they're entitled to discriminate? How do they think low fares gives them the right to abuse the rights of others? Sorry, if you can't operate a low cost business without discriminatory practices than I guess you just can't operate.

This is a cost of business, like putting fuel in the planes. Better work it into next month's budget.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Would you Strolleasy?

The Strolleasy chair featured in this article seems like it might be a handy device for people who have limited walking endurance and might find it convenient to roll sometimes. Looks like it would be lighter weight and easier to tote around than many other wheelchairs.

The company's founders spend a lot of time in the article stressing that their product doesn't look like a wheelchair. I know this is a hang-up for some people, even if they clearly need the help sometime. I just always think it's a shame when they let their feelings about using a wheelchair limit what they can experience in life. But maybe this is easy for me to say, since I do not use a wheelchair -- yet anyway.

Getting a lift in DC

All 1,447 Washington DC area Metro buses now have wheelchair lifts. Bus operators also are receiving training on how to use them.

It's not a cab, but it's closer to Eric Lipp's dream. A least you can catch a bus, any bus, if you use a wheelchair.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Accessing downtown Havana

Havana, Illinois is exploring starting a trolley service to cruise the brick streets of its downtown. It's good to see they are considering a wheelchair accessible vehicle from the start.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The ultimate sign -- hailing a cab on the street

Eric Lipp of Open Doors Organization, has a dream. Being able to hail an accessible cab from the curb. "I want to wheel out thee and raise my arm. That to me is when I'll know we made it," Lipp tells Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown.

BTW, Brown has done several columns with Lipp over the years chronicling the abuse of parking spaces for the disabled and the inaccessibility of cabs. I appreciate his continued attention to a topic not a lot of mainstream columnists visit regularly.

Friday, July 07, 2006

No go for Fourth

I don't know San Francisco well enough to understand the details here, but Bob Planthold contends there was a "substantial exclusion of people with disabilities from actually getting down to Aquatic Park" for Fourth of July festivities there because of traffic control decisions.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Where I have been

Perhaps you have noticed a lack of posting over the last month. If you have, I thank you for checking and I apologize for the lack of activity. It always seems to happen when I go on a trip. Getting prepared, the posting falls away. Then I'm away and I don't do computers on vacation. Then getting back into the grove at home and work is demanding for a while so that takes up time. But I'm back to a more normal routine now and expecting posting to become regular again. Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Accessing Europe

Going to Europe and have accessibility questions? Check out the thorough answer to this letter in the New Jersey Star-Ledger for some info leads.