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Travelers with disabilities have more resources on which to rely than ever before, making it easier to get where you want to go. We want to mention the most prominent of the thousands available in the following comprehensive list. Print and save this for future reference.

The U.S. National Park Service offers a Golden Access Passport that gives free lifetime entrance to U.S. national parks for persons who are blind or permanently disabled, regardless of age, and who permanently reside in the U.S. You may pick up a Golden Access Passport at a federal area such as the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest Service and Tennessee Valley Authority sites and by showing proof of medically determined disability and eligibility for receiving benefits under federal law. They may only be obtained in person and upon proof of eligibility. Besides free entry, the Golden Access Passport also offers a 50 percent discount on federal-use fees charged for such facilities as camping, swimming, parking, boat launching, and tours. For more information, go to www.nps.gov/fees_passes.htm or call tel. 888-GO-PARKS (467-2757).

Agencies/Operators

  • Accessible Journeys (tel. 800/846-4537; 610/521-0339; www.disabilitytravel.com) caters specifically to slow walkers and wheelchair travelers, and their families and friends.
  • Adventures Within (tel. 303/744-8813) offers programs for individuals with multiple sclerosis, which are limited to outdoor trips and other challenges in the Colorado Rockies.
  • Chalfont Line Ltd. (tel. 011-44/1895-459-540; e-mail: info@chalfont-line.co.uk) is a British-based firm providing escorted vacations throughout the world for disabled, slow walkers, wheelchair users, and the elderly.
  • Challenge Aspen (tel. 970/923-0578; www.challengeaspen.org; e-mail: possibilities@challengeaspen.com), a nonprofit organization, was established in 1995 to create year-round recreational, sports and cultural activities for disabled travelers, their families, and friends.
  • Epic Enabled (tel. 011-27/21-782-9575; www.epic-enabled.com; e-mail: info@epic-enabled.com) provides family-friendly, overland camping and adventure safari holidays for those in wheelchairs or otherwise disabled, in and around South Africa.
  • Flying Wheels Travel (tel. 507/451-5005; www.flyingwheelstravel.com) offers escorted, individual and customized tours and cruises that emphasize sports and private tours in minivans with lifts.
  • Globe Trotter Club (e-mail: contact@globetrottercub.com) is a Paris-based travel agency that offers tourism packages and services for physically challenged travelers, their families and friends, and offers assistance with flight and hotel bookings, car rentals, travel insurance, and more.
  • The Guided Tour (tel. 800/783-5841; www.guidedtour.com) offers travel programs worldwide for persons with developmental or physical challenges. In business since 1972.
  • Jubilee Sailing Trust (tel. 011/44/870-443-5781; www.jst.org.uk) is a charitable organization that offers adventure sailing for disabled and able-bodied adults on all trips.
  • Navyo Nepal (tel. 011-977/1-428-0056; www.navyonepal.com) offers outdoor tours through the Himalayan countries of Nepal, Bhutan and especially Tibet.
  • Neverland Adventures (tel. 800/717-8226) provides accessible travel to Australia and New Zealand for travelers with disabilities.
  • Trips Inc. (tel. 800/686-1013; www.tripsinc.com) offers supervised travel within the U.S. for adults with physical and mental developmental disabilities.
  • Wilderness Inquiry (tel. 612/676-9400; www.wildernessinquiry.org) is a non-profit group specializing in outdoor adventure trips in North America.

Organizations

  • Able Data (tel. 800/227-0216; www.abledata.com) provides information about assistive technology products, and domestic and internationally sold rehabilitation equipment. Their travel resource center provides links to international resources, as well as state-specific organizations.
  • Access-Able Travel Source (www.access-able.com; e-mail: access-able@comcast.net) provides access information and resources to travelers with disabilities, in business since 1995. The site lists access and travel resource information for destinations around the world, along with lists of travel agents and tour operators, cruise ships' accessibility, and stories from travelers.
  • The American Foundation for the Blind (tel. 800/232-5463; www.afb.org) provides information and tips on traveling, and an online services center, organized by state.
  • Centers for Disease Control (tel. 800/311-3435; www.cdc.gov/travel/spec_needs.htm) offers a section for travelers with special needs, which covers everything from HIV-Infected Traveler Precautions to Traveling while Pregnant or with Children, and accessibility information for International Travelers with Disabilities.
  • The Moss Rehab Hospital (tel. 215/456-5882; www.mossresourcenet.org) provides resources for accessible travel, including information on airlines, buses, trains, cruise lines, driving, and travel agents. They field phone calls from all over the world and can often provide referrals to travel agencies that specialize in assisting travelers with disabilities.
  • Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality (tel. 212/447-7284; www.sath.org; e-mail: sathtravel@aol.com) offers a wealth of travel resources for all types of disabilities and informed recommendations on destinations, access guides, travel agents, tour operators, vehicle rentals, and companion services. Annual membership costs $45 for individuals; $30 for seniors and students; and $1000 to become a lifetime member.

Publications

  • Emerging Horizons (tel. 209/599-9409; www.emerginghorizons.com; e-mail: horizons@emerginghorizons.com) describes itself as a "consumer-oriented magazine" about accessible travel, with a primary focus on people with mobility disabilities. It's free of advertising, published quarterly, and is $16.95 for a yearly subscription. The Web site also provides a link to the 304-paged book Barrier Free Travel: A Nuts and Bolts Guide for Wheelers and Slow Walkers, written by the magazine's editor, Candy Barrington, and available for $19.95.
  • Mobility International USA (tel. 541/343-1284; www.miusa.org) publishes A World of Options a guidebook to international exchange, community service, and travel for persons with disabilities, the 225-page book Survival Strategies for Going Abroad: A Guide for People with Disabilities. Tax-deductible donations in honor of its 25th year are currently being accepted.
  • Wheelchairs on the Go: Accessible Fun in Florida is a 424-page guidebook crammed with detailed descriptions of accessible accommodations, recreation, theme parks, attractions, historic sites, and hunting or fishing. It's published by Access Guide Publishing (tel. 888/245-7300) List price is $19.95 if purchased online through Paypal.

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