I’ve been covering accessible travel exclusively for the past 25 years, and believe me, I do get a lot of strange questions about the subject. I try to educate whenever I can, and I understand that this is a subject that most people don’t understand unless they have some personal experience with it.
That said, there is also a general ignorance about access information, or at least accurate access information. Believe it or not I’ve heard “Well why do you even bother to do this? After all we have the ADA and everything is accessible today,” more times than I care to admit. And I usually have to take a deep breath before I explain the difference between access laws and the reality of accessible travel.
And then there are those folks who adamantly insist that there’s accurate access information out there, so what Charles and I do is completely unnecessary. You have absolutely no idea how many times that I’ve checked that supposed “accurate” access information and found it to be incorrect. Sometimes it’s dated, sometimes it’s flat out wrong, and sometimes I just scratch my head at what some folks consider to be accessible.
Case and point is this map that depicts the “accessible route” at a park we recently visited. The yellow route is suppose to be the accessible path.
So I did what I usually do – I started down the “accessible” path, with my pedometer in hand. It seemed a bit steep, but I continued on, because an accessible trail doesn’t have to be completely flat.
And then I turned the corner and came to these.
Yes, these steps were located along the “accessible” route.
And that in a nutshell is why Charles and I do what we do. To provide folks with well researched, accurate access information. And you can only do that with in-person visits. Period.