The Dominican Republic has done little to open up exploration of their island by persons with disabilities. Getting around the country with its potholed roads is hard enough on a healthy visitor with perfect mobility. A pole-vaulter might find it difficult walking in traffic in Santo Domingo. Your best bet is to work through a travel agent to find a resort hotel suitable for a visit by persons with disabilities. Suitable rooms and grounds are more likely to be found at Playa Dorada or Punta Cana than elsewhere.
Even so, a disability shouldn't stop anyone from traveling. There are more resources out there today than ever before. However, there are no agencies to turn to once you're in the D.R. If you're seeking information before you go, you'll have to rely on general organizations.
Organizations that offer a vast range of resources and assistance to travelers with disabilities include MossRehab (tel. 800/225-5667; www.mossresourcenet.org), the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB; tel. 800/232-5463 or 212/502-7600; www.afb.org), and the Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality (SATH; tel. 212/447-7284; www.sath.org). Air Ambulance Card (www.airambulancecard.com) is now partnered with SATH and allows you to preselect top-notch hospitals in case of an emergency.
Access-Able Travel Source (tel. 303/232-2979; www.access-able.com) offers a comprehensive database on travel agents from around the world with experience in accessible travel; destination-specific access information; and links to such resources as service animals, equipment rentals, and access guides.
Many travel agencies offer customized tours and itineraries for travelers with disabilities. Among them are Flying Wheels Travel (tel. 507/451-5005; www.flyingwheelstravel.com) and Accessible Journeys (tel. 800/846-4537 or 610/521-0339; www.disabilitytravel.com).
Flying with Disability (www.flying-with-disability.org) is a comprehensive information source on airplane travel. Avis Rent a Car (tel. 888/879-4273; www.avis.com) has an "Avis Access" program that offers services for customers with special travel needs. These include specially outfitted vehicles with swivel seats, spinner knobs, and hand controls; mobility scooter rentals; and accessible bus service. Be sure to reserve well in advance.
Also check out the quarterly magazine Emerging Horizons (www.emerginghorizons.com), available by subscription.
The "Accessible Travel" link at Mobility-Advisor.com offers a variety of travel resources to persons with disabilities.
British travelers should contact Holiday Care (tel. 0845/124-9971 in U.K. only; www.holidaycare.org.uk) to access a wide range of travel information and resources for elderly people or those with disabilities.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.