Travel can be challenging for people with disabilities but the good news is that more places worldwide have started to provide better services and accommodation options.
Here, we look at some of the most innovative ways various destinations have adjusted for disabled travellers’ needs, from helping wheelchair skiers to barrier-free hotels.
Pacific Science Center, Seattle, Washington Travellers with an interest in science should visit the Pacific Science Center, where they can discover events and exhibitions that delve into different scientific fields. Catering to visitors with autism, Pacific Science Center hosts ‘Exploration for All’, a monthly invitation for families affected by autism to visit for free. During this time, the lighting at the Center is softened, noise levels reduced, and visitors are able to explore without heavy crowds.
Sacramento’s Old Town Most ‘Old Towns’ in cities are not very wheelchair friendly, Sacramento is a different story. Sacramento has installed ramps from wooden boardwalks to the crosswalks at every intersection making them easy for those in a wheelchair to roam around. These pavements and boardwalks are in very good condition with the entryways to the restaurants and shops being level with the boardwalks. There are also accessible parking spaces on every street near the ramps.
Winter Park, Colorado Wheelchair users can confidently hit the slopes in Winter Park, Colorado. The resort welcomes wheelchair users that have adaptive devices, such as mono-skis and bi skis, to help them explore the mountain. All chairlifts are capable of accommodating wheelchairs with these devices so it’s easy to get to the top of the slopes.
Barrier-free hotels in Japan All new hotels with more than 50 rooms must provide wheelchair accessible accommodations, with certain specifications such as wide entrances, handrails in the bathrooms and no steps. Japanese accommodation ranges from capsule hotels to traditional guesthouses to luxurious modern hotels.
Ease of access – Slovenia The main rail station in the Slovenian capital, Ljubljana, is friendly to physically impaired people. There are already many city buses with low floors and sound signals providing the names of stops along the route. Ljubljana Castle, one of the most visited Slovenian tourist attractions, is accessible by a disabled-friendly funicular.