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Travelling with disabilities: I have to plan for everything.
Travelling with disabilities: I have to plan for everything, and yet still manage to find the spontaneous.
It would be naïve to say that travelling abroad with a mobility issue is a wheelchair roll in the park. From the steep kerbed pavements of Europe, 'romantic' cobblestone streets, ‘accessible’ venues that always have a step that personnel never seem to notice, to the people who believe carrying you up and down stairs on your mobility aid is acceptable when it robs you of both dignity and autonomy: there are myriad hidden obstacles to take in consideration. We’re still far behind when it comes to assisting those who are disabled when they travel.
However, it doesn’t mean never say never. As a solo female adventurer, going abroad alone already meant planning and preparation, finding ways to ensure my safety while at the same time finding ways to enjoy myself as much as possible. The same can be said for travelling with a disability, but you have to add a few extra preparatory columns on your spreadsheet.
Here is some hard-won advice on preparing to travel with a disability (or how you can assist a loved one if you want to travel with someone with specific needs) - and why it's worth the extra work.
Specialist Information Officer and Cerebral Palsy Programme Lead
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