Traveling with individuals with disabilities can be challenging for the travelers, traveling companions and for the travel providers. While individuals with disabilities are usually quick to adapt to their surroundings, it is important for all parties involved to make the travel as easy as possible. Not only is it advisable to make accommodations for disabled travelers, but in many instances, travel providers are bound by law to comply with the accommodations.
The needs of the disabled travelers can range from special seating arrangements on planes, trains or automobiles to special needs for hotel or motel rooms. Depending on the disability, the arrangements can be simple or more complex. For example, if a travel is vision impaired it may be necessary for a working dog to travel with the individual. Arrangements for travel and hotel will need to be made to accommodate the dog. Or, if the traveler is wheelchair bound, the transportation provider needs to accommodate the wheelchair and the hotel needs to provide a wheelchair accessible room.
Depending on the disability and the limitations they have will indicate what type of assistance and planning will be required. The disabled traveler, any traveling companion and travel companies are all responsible for making travel planning as smooth as possible for the disabled traveler.
To assist disabled travelers in planning and executing travel arrangements, we have gathered a collection of resources. We hope they will be helpful in traveling with individuals with disabilities:
- Traveling with a Disability – a collection of resources from the University of Buffalo.
- Travel Resources for Disabled Travelers – resources for all types of travel in the United States and Worldwide.
- Traveling by Air with a Disability – Department of Transportation guidelines and regulations on air travel for the disabled.
- Traveling by Train – useful information for Rail Canada on rail travel for individuals with disabilities and others.
- Disabled Access in Canada – guide to travel for the disabled in Canada, produced by the Canadian government.
- Injury Information Network – resources from the Spinal Cord injury network.
- International Travel Resources – information on disabled travel from around the world.
- Aviation Consumer Protection and Enforcement – information on airline compliance of the Air Carrier Access Act.
- Tips for Travelers with Disabilities – government tips on safe travel for individuals with disabilities.
- Accessible Travel – resources and information from the Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality.
- Disability Transportation – information and links from disability.gov.
- Transportation Safety Standards for Wheelchair Users – a web review of voluntary standards for improved safety, usability, and independence of wheelchair travelers.
- Disability Travel and Recreation Resources – a selection of resources for the disabled traveler.
- Disability Travel Resources – tips and resources on travel with an individual with a disability.
- Persons with Disabilities Online – website with information on care for the disabled.
- Travel and Leisure Resources – resources and information from the Independent Living Institute.
- Planning Guide – guide from Transport Canada on planning for accessible transportation.
- Travelin Talk – network of persons with disabilities sharing information and knowledge.
- Traveling Not Disabled by Planning – ideas on traveling with a disabled individual.
- Helpful Travel Resources – travel information from the American Council of the Blind.