As mentioned, in our blog post of Special Needs and Disabled Travelers
We also specialize in clients who have disabilities. I have to even further say that not every disability. Many travel advisers out in the world today, know different areas of disabilities. I personally work with the Blind, Deaf, and those with mobility disabilities.
To clarify these clients, so there is no misunderstanding. We do not offer if someone is totally blind, a service to hire a sighted guide to travel with them, or someone who is deaf to hire and ASL person. Many of our clients travel with a friend or family member. Like we all do, we have life people or just that person, we like to partake in new things.
I do however, make sure whomever is traveling with us, is that we try and treat them with respect and dignity.
I will ask the hard questions, even if you don’t tell me, asking in the fact finding or we call our consultation stage of the trip.
When we are speaking with you, and find out that you have some mobility or accessibility limits, we will ask what they are. We will also remind, that you need to plan ahead of time, then those of people who do not have the issues you may have.
Example: A family member is planning a cruise on XYZ Cruise Lines for June, and it is April. They want you go to with them, and you are a person who needs a wheelchair accessible room. The cruise lines and I mean all of them have less then 3% of their staterooms or cabins, same thing, all depends on what you call them. So, if that ship doesn’t have any availability of these rooms, you may not be able to go. The same with someone who is Deaf. It takes time for the cruise ships to get ASL interpreters available. There are only a few groups that work with the cruise lines.
If you are legally blind like myself, you will want to make sure that you can have access to websites, apps, someone who can give you a tour of the ship to help you get the low down on the area. If you have a service animal, if you need a special bed, and lift, pools accessibility and more.
If you are doing a land destination, places that you want to see and do may not be accessible to your disability. There might be an alternative to that destination then they way others are traveling. Wheelchair accessibility might not be available, so you might have to explore the destination further away then up close and personal. A blind person may need an extra hand, if they are not used to walking on dirt roads or cobblestone. A deaf person, may want to go to a concert of Brahms because they cannot hear it. So, we need to make sure that what you want to do, we can find the proper tour operator, supplier, cruise line, and more for your experience. Yes, others have done them before.
So you need to plan, months in advance.
Also remember a few things.
- ADA – Americans with Disabilities Act – Only covers Americans here in the USA and their territories. Many countries have similar laws, but do not have to enforce them like the US.
- Each person is different, so we make sure that you are aware of services that are available to you.
- Traveling as a person with a disability, myself, it can be more out of pocket then you think. You might need to rent a scooter; wheelchair; bed lift; water wheelchair; accessible transportation. We can offer help in these issues and more.
- Plan, Plan and plan some more! That is our job.