I have to admit that I was a little puzzled by a news item that I ran across last week about a grass roots campaign in the UK to make it “more comfortable” for people with invisible disabilities to use the accessible toilets there. Apparently when seemingly able-bodied people walk out of the accessible NKS toilets across the pond, they are getting “the look” or an audible “tsk-tsk” from passers-by. To alleviate this, there is a push to change the symbol on the accessible toilets from the standard wheelchair pictogram, to a pictogram of wheelchair with two able-bodied people. OK, that part made perfect sense to me, as there certainly are folks with invisible disabilities who need accessible facilities. Continue reading
Recently I’ve seen a lot of posts and comments from younger people who think we shouldn’t celebrate the anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), quite simply because it does not go far enough. They claim that without any real enforcement, public entities are not held to the standards laid out by the US Access Board. Continue reading
I’m often asked if the number of disabled travelers has increased in the 20-plus years that I’ve been covering accessible travel. Well, from an anecdotal view of things I usually answer that question with a enthusiastic yes. Of course it’s not like I’ve done a survey or anything. Continue reading
Although Uber has long claimed that it’s not bound by the regulations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, it just makes common sense to make this service as accessible as possible. In fact, I had high hopes when Uber introduced their new WAV app that allows customers to order an accessible vehicle with a few taps and a swipe or two. And in theory that works; however since Uber doesn’t have enough accessible vehicles to meet the demand, it falls short of a viable solution. Continue reading
Not to toot my own horn, but I’ve received my fair share of awards over my 40-plus year writing career. That said, I’m especially proud of the Lowell Thomas Award that Charles and I recently won for Resting Easy in the US. Not only is it a very prestigious award, but it also lends some credibility to this niche that we’ve been covering exclusively for the past 20 years. Continue reading
After spending the past three weeks exploring Sequoia National Park for my next book, Barrier-Free Travel; Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks for Wheelers and Slow Walkers (www.barrierfreeyosemite.com) I’ve come away with some observations about access in this often overlooked national treasure. Of course, as with any research trip there was good and bad, but on the plus side I have to say that the good far outweighed the bad on this Sequoia visit. With that in mind here are my top three “access plusses” – access features that totally wowed me – in the land of the giant sequoias. Continue reading
Believe 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.
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
Late last week Uber rolled out their much anticipated accessible ride program in Washington DC. As their press release touts, this new option enables riders to request a wheelchair-accessible vehicle on-demand. And you can use the Uber app to order one in a matter of seconds. What could be better — an affordable wheelchair-accessible ride dispatched to you with a few swipes and a tap? Continue reading