Finding Wheelchair-Accessible Restrooms on Public Lands in COVID-19 Times

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Accessible trail to overlook at Donnell Vista

The general line of thought for travel in these COVID-19 times is to take a road trip and try and steer clear of crowds. In other words, stay away from theme parks and instead head to our national parks and other public outdoor spaces. So that’s exactly what we did a few weeks ago – we packed the car and hit the road to the Eastern Sierras. Continue reading

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Covid-19 and the Cruise Industry – What’s Next?

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The Covid-19 Pandemic will undoubtedly change a lot of things, from where we shop, to how receive health care. Once the dust settles and businesses begin to reopen, leisure travel will again be something to consider. And I think the travel industry is in for even more changes; in fact, I believe travel in post-Covid-19 times will be an entirely different experience, especially for cruise ship passengers. Continue reading

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What Does the Future Hold for Travel?

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First off, I don’t have a crystal ball, so these musings are just my gut feelings. Let’s start off with the header I just put up on our Emerging Horizons website.

We invite our readers to indulge in a little armchair travel, or maybe even make plans for trips in the coming years; but gently remind you that now is not the time to travel. Stay home and stay safe. Continue reading

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Amazon Selling Fake Parking Placards!

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Edited to Add – The link to the placard does not work any more (and I have removed it), so it looks like Amazon took down the item for sale. Thanks everyone for their great response!!! 

 

 

OK I’m a huge Amazon fan, but after finding this “Handicap Placard” for sale on the site I may have to think twice about continuing my relationship. It has absolutely no description, and the five-star reviews are obviously fake (“great customer service” — give me a break). The questions have been answered by consumers who obviously agree with me, and a few wheelchair-users wrote negative comments. Continue reading

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In Case of Fire

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Emergency evacuation instructions in the right place — at wheelchair height.

Imagine the following scenario. It’s the middle of the night and you are sound asleep. Then you hear a loud noise – a fire alarm. You jump to attention and sit up in bed, and then you realize that you are not at home. You are in a hotel. You think you are on the second floor but you are not sure – you’ve been on the road for a week and all the rooms kind of meld together.

Oh yes, did I also mention that you are in a wheelchair and traveling alone? Continue reading

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E-Scooter Companies Called to Task for Alleged ADA Violation

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Bird Scooters

Bird Scooters

E-scooters are all the rage these day. These compact electric scooters are popping up all over it seems; and startup companies like Bird, Lime and Razor now offer affordable rentals through shared ride smart phone apps. It sounds like a win-win proposition, doesn’t it?

Well, not exactly. Continue reading

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The Last Straw

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1200px-Eight_drinking_straws_(4273846588)With so many regulations popping up across the country limiting or outright banning the use of plastic straws, I’m getting a lot of questions from folks about why this is even an issue to some disabled people. And to be honest, some of the questions are well meaning, but many folks just don’t get the point – or points – that banning the use of plastic straws in restaurants puts yet another undue burden on our disabled citizens. Maybe some people just never thought about it before, or maybe they don’t understand the technicalities behind it all. Whatever the reason, here are some of the questions I’ve fielded in the past month, along with the answers I’ve given. Feel free to pass them along. Continue reading

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Remembering Fallen Friends on this ADA Anniversary

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Betsy Volk and Trooper

Betsy Volk and Trooper

Today marks 28 years since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law. And although some folks lament that we still have access problems, I prefer to look at how far we have come on this day. Although accessible travel certainly wasn’t a priority back in the beginning, it has gained momentum over the years. And that’s not just because we don’t institutionalize folks who are disabled any more — it’s also because some hearty souls paved the way “back in the day.” And because they were my friends, I’d like to give credit where credit is due on this ADA anniversary. Continue reading

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Looking Forward to a More Accessible Future

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Work underway at The Lake House Restaurant in Grant Village

Work underway at The Lake House Restaurant in Grant Village

I’ve been writing about accessible travel for over 20 years now, and I can honestly say that I’ve see a lot of improvements since I first started. Years ago it was hard to find an accessible room at all, and now many hotels have pool lifts. Yes, I know there is always room for improvement, but I’m pleased at the direction that the hospitality industry is moving. Continue reading

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Who Should Use the Disabled Loo?

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restroomI 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

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