Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Hawaii Superferry defended for enhancing mobility

Some 1,100 people in Hawaii showed up at a meeting about the controversial inter island Superferry. Opponents have a whole range of reasons to object to this service. The one advocate of the ferry cited in the article? A person with disabilities, that says the ferry gives her mobility. (photo of Hawaii scene by Sam (kahanaboy) via morgueFile.com)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Amarillo buses accessible, says radio host

If you travel to Amarillo, and need to take the bus, you're in luck. The buses -- at least on the route this radio personality took -- apparently have good accessibility. But better check it out beforehand.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Heads up in the Seattle Transit Tunnel

Looking for a practical tip? Here's one: Watch out for the bus mirrors in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel. The floor of the tunnel was lowered eight inches to make the platform even with the new bus floors for all users, even those using a wheelchair. But drivers have notice this also puts the buses mirrors in an awkward spot. To avoid mirror vs. head injuries, the platform has a big yellow stripe people are supposed to stand behind and the Metro has added warning signs, a PA system announcement and even flashing strobe lights to the mirrors. "We're confident this will help us operate safely," said Mike Lemeshko, supervisor of transit safety for Metro. "We don't want to bonk anyone." (Bus mirror photo by Kenn Kiser via morgueFile.com)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Better beach access at Hatteras

Blogger and Emerging Horizons editor Candy Harrington recently reported on an exciting development in one of my favorite places in the world -- the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Thanks to the efforts of Dave Mims, whose daughter is a wheelchair user, there's now a ramped beach access at Frisco, the first on Hatteras Island. I applaud his efforts to raise the almost $4,000 needed to fund the improvement. Let's hope the national seashore that includes the island doesn't see this as all the access that's needed and that park officials continue to fund more of these improvements even if determined people don't step forward to raise funds for every project. (Photo of Hatteras lighthouse by Darren Hillock)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

GA Guide debuts resource list

Here some of the more handy websites I've found while blogging on travel for people with disabilities. My hope is that eventually it may evolve into a somewhat comprehensive guide to finding the info you need out there on the web. This is very much a work in progress. Have a suggestion? Know another good site? Let me know at darrenhillock@yahoo.com.
Don't forget the other travel by those with disabilities bloggers, who are listed in the blogroll in the sidebar on the main page. All are highly recommended! (photo by Missy Red Boots via morguefile.com)

Travel info

World on Wheelz -- A site linked to a travel agent, but has some good info not connected with booking a trip with them, such as reviews of some popular destinations and travel tips.

Anxiety to Access -- A paper on experiences of travelers with disabilities in New South Wales, Australia.

Turismo @ Polibea -- E-zine on accessible tourism in Spain.

Road Trip America -- A link to a page of links! Info on Disney, beach wheelchairs locations and more.

Open Doors Organization -- A page of tips for travelers with disabilities.

Terrific Travel Guides for People with Disabilities
-- A few states and cities with online travel access guides.

Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality -- "An educational nonprofit membership organization whose mission is to raise awareness of the needs of all travelers with disabilities, remove physical and attitudinal barriers to free access and expand travel opportunities in the United States and abroad. Members include travel professionals, consumers with disabilities and other individuals and corporations who support our mission," according to the group's website.

General disability info

The National Organization on Disability -- Informative site on disabilities in general.

Ragged Edge -- Online magazine covering all aspects of living with disabilities.

Inclusion Daily Express
-- Daily source of news on living with disabilities. Requires a subscription, but some content posted for free most days.

Travel books

Easy Access Australia -- The name says it all.

Wheelchairs on the Go -- An accessibility and attraction guide for those visiting Florida. Covers all parts of the state.

Access Unlimited: Your Guide to Israel -- Bills itself as the first comprehensive English accessibility guidebook to Israel.

Access Project -- Publisher of Access in London, Access in Paris, Access in Israel and Access to Football Grounds.


NJStriper.com -- Links and tips relevant to the angler with disabilities.

Universal Design

Adaptive Environments -- Self described as: "A 27 year old educational non-profit organization committed to advancing the role of design in expanding opportunity and enhancing experience for people of all ages and abilities."

Here's advice for finding accessibility in Paris

If you're a wheelchair user interested in traveling to Paris, you'll want to check out the advice dispensed on timesonline in this article. (Photo by Martin Cannings via morgueFile.com)

Buses issue in London mayor race

Buses are a major issue in the campaign for London mayor. At issue is Ken Livingstone's replacement of the iconic double decker Routemasters with long "bendy buses" as they have been come to be called in the race. Challenger Boris Johnson is vowing to go back to a Routemaster type bus, though with an important difference -- accessibility. The old Routemasters weren't accessible. Opponents don't like the new buses because they say they are hard to get around and enable people to avoid paying fares. (Photo of old style Routemaster by Rudi Ashdown via morgueFile.com)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Accessible hunting platforms added to PA forest

If you're looking for accessible turkey hunting, then you should check out northern Dauphin County, Penn. Two shooting platforms in non-conflicting spots along Luke's Trail in Weiser State Forest have been added this summer. "Each platform offers a remote, near-wilderness, hunting experience for the user, more than a mile from the nearest road open to the public," pennlive.com says. Another thoughtful feature: " Each of the platforms is equipped with a top rail that can be removed to provide better shooting position for wheelchair-bound hunters, an idea developed by chapter member Dennis Paul." (Photo by Malinda Welde via morgueFile.com)

Friday, September 07, 2007

Birmingham (UK) Airport makes upgrades for travelers with disabilities

Birmingham International Airport (UK) is getting ahead of the EU requirement to improves services for travelers with disabilities. Airport officials there are already implementing improvements costing £1.3 million (about $2.7 million US). Included will be more people, places and equipment for assisting those with disabilities.
It's good to see some airports reacting before being dragged kicking and screaming! (Photo of airport, not necessarily BHX, via morgueFile.com)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Was it that Tammy Duckworth?

An alert commenter of this Conde Nast Traveler piece wondered if a letter writer asking about travel agents specializing in travelers with disabilities was the Tammy Duckworth. The commenter was referring to the Illinois National Guard major and Iraq War vet who narrowly lost a race for a seat in Congress after a tough campaign last year. Duckworth lost both her legs as a result of a combat injury.
Was it her?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Study: Info and accessibility still problems for travelers

Holiday Which? magazine conducted a study recently that showed many travel related companies still are doing a poor job of meeting the needs of travelers with disabilities. "What should be simple - clear information and accessibility - is still a huge problem," commented Lorna Cowan, editor of Holiday Which, in the article. "Many people with disabilities continue to rely on their own willpower to make sure their holidays happen."
Yes they do keep pluggin' away, don't they?

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Cruises gaining popularity among blind for typical reason

Here's a great article on travelers who are blind increasingly using cruise ships. Here's some excerpts:
"Although the cruise industry doesn’t keep statistics, many travel agents and organizations like the Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality agree that there has been a sharp increase in cruise travel among the blind in the last five years. 'It’s grown exponentially,' said Jani Nayar, the society’s executive coordinator."
Why the growth in cruising among the blind? "Cruises’ popularity among the blind comes in part from convenience, said Jackie Hull of Outta Sight Travel, a Port St. Lucie, Fla., travel agency that puts together vacation packages for blind travelers. Normally, Hull said, a blind person on vacation would have to find his way to a hotel, then to a restaurant and later to a nightclub or concert hall for entertainment. 'On board, everything is there. It’s so accessible, you get acclimatized at once,' Hull said
You know the good part about that reasoning? Isn't that the reason a cruise is popular for a lot of folks, the convenience? So why should it be different for the blind, right?
Read the whole article; you'll learn something and read about some great people. (Photo by Michelle Schaefer via morgueFile.com)