New Disability Guide Distributed to Brazil Tourism Providers

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brazilJust in time for the Paralympics, the Brazil Ministry of Tourism unveiled their guide to help welcome tourists with disabilities to the country. Titled Dicas Para Atender Bem Turistas com Deficiência (Tips for Better Serving Disabled Tourists), the guide was distributed to 35,000 tourism outlets including hotels and travel agencies throughout the country.

“Great service is a universal premise in tourism,” said Acting Minister of Tourism Alberto Alves, “and along with the accessibility of an attraction’s structures, it is important that tourist service providers know how to serve those with disabilities.”

After reviewing the booklet (which is published in Portuguese) I have to say that it’s a very good start. Filled with colorful illustrations, the publication gives basic tips for communicating and interacting with customers who are blind, deaf and have a physical or mental disability. Although it’s probably very basic information to customer service personnel in the US, this information isn’t typically dispersed throughout the tourism industry in Brazil.

Tips for interacting with wheelchair-users include:

  • Look them directly in the eye, and come down to their level if possible.
  • Always address the customer in a wheelchair, not their attendant.
  • Ask if they want assistance before giving it.
  • Never move a wheelchair-user without permission.
  • Don’t not lean on wheelchair, as it is an extension of that person’s body space.

The booklet also includes some very basic information (like knowing the room numbers of disabled guests) about what to do in an emergency; but frankly I think they really could have covered much more on than subject.

And I have to say, I could do without some of their language — deficiency and impairment, for example — but it’s a good first try overall.

Still, I give them a big thumbs up for giving it a try and at least addressing the situation. After all, access has to start somewhere.

 

New Disability Guide Distributed to Brazil Tourism Providers

brazilJust in time for the Paralympics, the Brazil Ministry of Tourism unveiled their guide to help welcome tourists with disabilities to the country. Titled Dicas Para Atender Bem Turistas com Deficiência (Tips for Better Serving Disabled Tourists), the guide was distributed to 35,000 tourism outlets including hotels and travel agencies throughout the country.  Continue reading

Been There Done That — or Not?

candy2Believe it or not accessible travel is becoming a very popular topic on the internet these days. That’s both good and bad news. The good news of course is that there’s more information out there. The bad news is, that a good chunk of that informaton is inaccurate.

And unfortunately the latter is happening all to often these days. It stems from a combination of lazy writers, and website owners who want down-and-dirty accessible travel articles, but who aren’t willing to fork over the bucks it takes to do the real research. And in the end it’s the consumer who really loses.

With that in mind, here are a few tips to help you separate the wheat from the chaff as far as accessible travel information is concerned.

Continue reading

New Yosemite Property Gets A+ For Access

Accessible pool area at Ruch Creek Lodge

Accessible pool area at Rush Creek Lodge

Although I travel the world in search of cool accessible travel finds, I’m just as excited to discover one right in my own backyard. Such was the case last week, when I went over to check out the new Rush Creek Lodge, just outside the Big Oak Flat entrance to Yosemite National Park. Continue reading

My Letter to Mr. Jones

Every now and then I read something that just can’t go without comment. Today it was an article on Penn Live by David Jones. Apparently Mr. Jones is vehemently against private development in Pennsylvania’s state parks, but he tries to make his case by saying that if the parks were developed then “people who don’t belong there”  (aka disabled people) would flock to these parks. He also uses some very derogatory language to describe the habits and abilities of wheelchair- and scooter-users.   Continue reading

What Does Brexit Mean for Accessible Travel?

With Britons voting to exit the European Union, I’ve had quite a few questions about what this means for disabled travelers. And although I don’t have a crystal ball, I can see at least one area that might possibly be in line for a change – air travel. Continue reading