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Travelling Abroad with a Disability


  • travel tips and useful accessibility information for persons with various disabilities.

  • advice on what to pack, transportation accessibility, and where to seek medical or emergency help.

  • Accessible travel recommendations and destinations specifically catering to the disabled.

The Full Guide to Flying with a Disability

See below link for the full article.

This guide offers lots of helpful information such as:

  • Understanding the struggle disabled travellers face when they try to fly. Figures show 57% of these travellers said they had difficulty when accessing an airport or flying. 33% of people also said they were unhappy with the service provided for them at the airport.

  • The barriers disabled travellers face when they fly. Did you know that 26 wheelchairs are damaged across the world on a daily basis? and some of these can cost tens of thousands to replace!

  • Practical advice on the best places to visit as a disabled holidaymaker, how to book up a hotel room which is right for you and how to get special assistant on your flight if you need it. The resource also covers medical information which you might find useful.

  • Other helpful tips and resources that can make planning and taking a trip abroad safe and easy for those with disabilities.

Cars, Boats, Planes and More: An Essential Resource Review of Travel and Accessibility for the Disabled

Travel is an amazing experience that everyone should experience. However, for people with limited mobility or other disabilities, travel can require some extra planning. Many places are behind on accessibility for the disabled. However, with some planning and an understanding of the resources available for disabled travelers, travel can be accessible, fun, and a great experience for everyone!


According to the Department of Transportation, 49.5 million Americans, or 19% of the population, have at least one type of disability. Worldwide, approximately 15% of the global population is disabled.

Even with this sizable part of the population identifying as disabled, travel can still be challenging and accessibility can be limited. In the United States, for example, most public places are required to have handicapped parking spots, ramps, doors with low thresholds, and to allow service animals. However, many tourist attractions, particularly historic places or outdoor attractions, are subject to less stringent rules.

Throughout the world, accessibility can also be uneven, particularly when visiting historical sites or traveling in developing countries.

Read article source: US Insurance Agents

Resources for Travelers With a Vision Impairment [2017]

Source: Alex Miller

If you or a loved one has a vision impairment, traveling anywhere can seem like a daunting prospect…but it doesn’t have to be! With the correct planning, precautions, and awareness, you can make sure your next trip is enjoyable and successful.

Below you’ll find a wide range of resources offering detailed advice for visually impaired travelers and their companions. These include travel tips that will help you get from A to B, learn about rights for disabled travelers, and plan your journey using informative websites.

Table of Contents

Travel Planning Guides for the Visually Impaired

Traveling can be stressful at any time, but it can be even more overwhelming if you or your travel companion are dealing with a visual impairment. Below you’ll find some useful resources that will help you plan your trip ahead of time so it runs as smoothly as possible:

  • – This article has been produced by a lifelong traveler who suffers from Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP). She discusses how to plan your trip, how to ask for advice, and where to look for discounts.

  • – Produced by the American Foundation for the Blind, this guide offers travel ideas and tips for the blind or visually impaired. It includes handy pointers, such as what to look for in your hotel, how to put together a travel itinerary, and the benefits of using a white cane.

  • – In this article you’ll find helpful tips and tricks for planning your journey. There are also useful links and contacts for UK travelers who are blind or visually impaired.

  • – This is another great article on the VisionAware website offering must-have advice on packing for your trip. Helpful tips include how to identify your luggage, selecting travel clothes, and packing for your dog.

Travel Tips for the Visually Impaired

Below are some handy guides that offer great advice to help visually impaired travelers and their companions get around safely and smoothly. Topics covered here include traveling abroad, traveling around a city, and traveling by bus or rail:

  • – Produced by the Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality, this guide offers in-depth advice for the blind or visually impaired. It covers a variety of topics including traveling by air, rail, or bus.

  • – Produced by the U.S. Department of State, this article offers advice on what you need to do before you travel, how to travel with service animals, and what medical considerations you need to make. You can also find information on the destination you’re traveling to and what they have in place for impaired travelers.

  • – Aimed at professionals who are traveling with blindness or a vision impairment, this blog offers some helpful tips, especially for those nagivating a city on business.

  • – Co-written by a board member for the Society for the Blind and one of their orientation and mobility instructors, this article offers a number of tips if you’re traveling with a vision impairment.

  • – Within this article, you’ll find preparation advice and tips on going abroad as a person who’s blind or has low vision. This includes what you’ll need to take and how to prepare for your travels. You can also read stories from other members, including Kevin’s first-hand experience of Australia.

  • – Here, the Center for the Visually Impaired provides a handy blog on how to travel with a vision impairment in winter. It offers practical advice on what to wear and how to stay safe in the colder months.

  • – A thorough guide on disabled travel, including 15 travel tips that cover items such as transport to and from the airport and using specialist travel agents.

  • – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has put together a useful guide on traveling with disabilities such as a vision impairment. It includes some pointers on pre-travel consultations, air travel, and cruise ships.

  • – Targeted at a UK audience, this guide covers a range of topics including traveling abroad and getting around your local area. It also includes stories from different people who share their experiences of travel.

  • – Another resource for UK residents, this guide on foreign travel for disabled people covers a variety of topics, including health, medication, and how to review transport facilities. It also includes some helpful links about UK-based organizations that exist to assist you with travel arrangements.

Understanding Your Rights as a Traveler With a Vision Impairment

It’s important to know what rights you or your companions have as blind or visually impaired travelers. Below you’ll find some practical guides that cover all of the legalities involved, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and what your rights are when traveling abroad:

  • – Within this resource, you’ll find a breakdown of what’s involved in the ADA. There’s also a section on the ADA and transportation, which includes some examples of how your local transport system should be made accessible to you.

  • – If you’re the parent of a child who’s blind or visually impaired, this guide by the American Foundation for the Blind provides detailed information on what your rights are, including orientation and mobility services.

  • – This article details your rights as an air traveler if you have a disability such as vision impairment. It also includes some handy tips for navigating the airport and airplane, as well as ways you can enforce your rights.

Specialist Organizations for the Visually Impaired Who Want To Travel

Here, you can discover some of the organizations that specialize in helping the visually impaired travel around the world:

  • – The Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality was founded in 1976, and it helps expand opportunities for disabled travelers in the U.S. and abroad. On the website you’ll find a calendar of events, travel tips, need to know facts, and more.

  • – Founded by Juanita Lillie (who suffers from a visual impairment), this organization has been set up to help promote the opportunities available for disabled travelers. Read inspiring stories and learn more about their travel recommendations.

  • – This nonprofit organization offers free camping services to the blind with locations all over Canada and the United States. These camps are affiliated with Christian Record Services Inc.

  • – Here you’ll find a number of useful contacts when planning a trip to Europe. Created by the EBU, this resource includes a number of hotels, companies, and travel agents that specialize in European travel for the visually impaired.

Additional Resources

For further information and advice on traveling with a vision impairment, see the resources below:

  • American Council of the Blind – This website offers information for the blind and visually impaired, including a number of useful travel resources.

  • – Produced by the American Foundation for the Blind, this resource page includes valuable information about traveling by public transport and airlines. It includes links to manuals, complaint forms, and contact information for the relevant organizations.

  • – Mobility International USA has a wide range of resources available and offers great tips for planning your travel abroad. There’s also a section for those who are visiting the U.S.

  • – On this website, you’ll find a whole host of resources that can help you plan your trip. These include guides on world destinations, links to further reading, and recommended travel agents.

  • – This resource is dedicated to information about accessible travel, providing detailed advice on adventure travel, travel companions, and much more.

  • – This website is run by the European Network for Accessible Tourism. Here, you’ll find information on European cities and how they welcome all types of travelers. You can also discover which cities have been awarded the European Access City Award.

Accessible Travel: Resources for the Disabled Explorer

Source: Patricia Jackson Wakanow Travel

Traveling with a disability may be difficult, but it is not impossible. Understanding current federal laws that protect those with disabilities helps guard citizens' rights whether traveling by air, accessing websites to book vacations or seeking accessible accommodations. Preparation and careful planning are essential for all travelers, but for the disabled traveler, this can mean the difference between a vacation in paradise, or a trip to hell and back. Wherever the destination, the disabled explorer must equip him or herself by understanding their rights, travel industry regulations and ensuring that the industry meets their individual needs. Making certain an intended destination is accessible and disabled-friendly is paramount to a successful vacation.

Resources for Blind Travelers

Whether traveling independently with a guide dog and/or cane, or accompanying a seeing person on vacation, there are certain safety measures blind travelers must take. Maintaining a sense of independence is important for those dealing with vision-loss, but the decision to travel alone is not one to take lightly. It is always safest to travel with a trusted companion; but if that isn't an option, blind travelers can journey independently as long as they take necessary precautions. Determine what assistance your preferred transportation choice provides, place of lodging and points of interest before planning your trip. Decide whether you will use provided assistance or truly travel independently. Find the layout of places you will visit and familiarize yourself beforehand. If flying by plane, select a boarding pass to save time.

Deaf Travelers

Deaf travelers often find that they can have successful journeys as long as they make arrangements ahead of their scheduled departure. Always notify travel-related industries you are hearing impaired, whether it's an airline, the hotel you will stay at or intended sites you will visit. Preparing for difficulty in advance can ensure you have eliminated trouble before it occurs. Arrive early to ensure plenty of time to let transportation officials know you are hearing impaired and will need personal notification when time to board. Make certain to have written verification for travel arrangements when applicable. Print confirmation records and keep them with you when traveling. Take extra care when traveling with hearing aids. Keep hearing aids with you and don't place them in checked luggage. Bring extra batteries and prepare for climate changes that may spell trouble due to increased humidity. Dry hearing aids regularly when visiting humid climates. It is imperative that workers, managers and officials know you are hearing impaired should an emergency arrive.

Wheelchair Travel Resources

Planning a vacation for those in wheelchairs requires plenty of research in advance. Determining which mode of transportation, choice of lodging or vacation destination is wheelchair accessible is of the utmost concern. A computer is invaluable when determining travel plans and ensuring that a company is accessible for those in wheelchairs. There are federal laws in place to ensure the travel and tourism industry does not discriminate against those in wheelchairs. When planning a vacation, consider more than what the company, airline or hotel chain says about their policies. Look for complaints filed by other members of the disabled community and weigh all information. When leaving for a destination, arrive early, as many companies prefer those in wheelchairs to pre-board and are given seats with easy access to restrooms and exits. Always have wheelchairs serviced, repaired or upgraded before embarking on a vacation or other travel destination.

Accessibility Resources

There are state, federal and local resources that members of the disabled community may access for further information regarding travel and tourism. Determining current laws, regulations, rules or policies that oversee the travel and tourism industry helps the disabled community protect their civil rights. When traveling out of state or overseas, check with the official travel and tourism board for their policies and make certain they coincide with U.S. laws. Technology has created greater access to shared accessibility resources, wheelchair accessible routes and lets members of the disabled community know the best places to visit.

General Handicapped Travel Resources

Disability does not mean that a person may never travel again. Every disability is different and individuals have various needs. When preparing a vacation or trip, one must ensure there are no hidden dangers and that an individual will have his or her needs met, regardless of what they are. Taking the time to research, carefully preparing for difficulties and ensuring the destination is accessible can prevent frustration, disappointment and a disastrous trip. Utilizing preventative measures can keep the disabled person mobile, independent and safe during their journey.

Travel & Access

Disability Travel Information

Disability Travel Links

Wheelchair Travel - Accessible Cruises
- Disability Resources

U.S. Department of Transportation / Accessibility

Accessibility Guidelines for Recreation Facilities

Mobility International USA

Travel information for persons with disabilities
Last Updated on Friday, 10 July 2020 11:07
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