GLOBAL ACCESS NEWS TRAVEL E-ZINE

VOLUME VIII, NUMBER 2, February 2007

Copyright © 2007, Global Access News

http://www.globalaccessnews.com/

 

Please note: Any Internet links mentioned in this e-zine were verified as functioning as of the date listed at the top. Web sites and e-mail addresses, however, change frequently, so changes may have occurred after that date.

 

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Welcome to the February 2007 issue of the Global Access News Travel E-Zine. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to write us and share your travel experiences.

 

CONTENTS

 

1 POSSIBLE ADA CHANGES AHEAD FOR CRUISE SHIPS
2. PHUKET, THAILAND: JAI DEE HOLIDAYS

3. BERMUDA ACCESS WARNING

4. UK: DISABLED HOLIDAY INFO

5. ACCESSIBLE CELTIC CASTLES

6. OUCH!

 

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1 POSSIBLE ADA CHANGES AHEAD FOR CRUISE SHIPS

 

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is considering ADA changes that could seriously impact how disabled travelers are treated aboard cruise ships.

 

The 2005 Supreme Court case, Spector et al vs. Norwegian Cruise Line, is the origin of this current DOT action. That case concerned a disabled traveler, who felt that he was discriminated against because he had to pay for a more expensive cabin in order to obtain appropriate access. The passenger also claimed that the cruise ship’s barriers didn’t provide him with the same cruise experience as able-bodied passengers. The court ruled in favor of the plaintiff and stated that the ADA does, indeed, apply to foreign-flagged ships entering U.S. waters. While no decision has yet been made, the following are some of the changes now under consideration:

 

Disabled travelers would no longer need to register at a Special Care desk before starting their cruise.

 

Scooters, power wheelchairs and service dogs would always be allowed.

 

No accommodation or assistance would be charged at a higher rate than any able-bodied passenger would have to pay.

 

Disabled cruise guests would no longer be required to travel with an attendant or a companion if they feel that one is not necessary. If a cruise line insists on a passenger having an attendant, they must either provide one or allow the guest to select one and then provide free fare for that person.

 

Guests with special needs would no longer have to identify themselves by registering with a "Special Care" desk in a cruise line prior to traveling.

 

Disabled would no longer be forced to sign a waiver of disability in order to take the cruise.

 

The reservation process and all information would  be available to all hearing impaired and visually impaired passengers.

 

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2. PHUKET, THAILAND: JAI DEE HOLIDAYS

 

Tom Bristow, of Jai Dee Holidays, wrote to announce their custom accessible vacations for disabled travelers, elderly travelers and people who visit Phuket, Thailand for the first time.

 

To learn more, contact Tom Bristow at bristow202@aol.com

 or visit their web site at http://www.jaideeholidays.com

 

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3. BERMUDA ACCESS WARNING
 

Lucy Barr-Hamilton recently shared her insights on the poor state of access on the island of Bermuda.

Hamilton writes:
 

“Thank you for your brilliant website! I just wanted to warn people who have thought about visiting Bermuda that it is not wheelchair friendly at all. As far as we could tell there were no adaptations to shops or restaurants, although we didn't go to any! 

 

The taxis are almost all minivans that require getting up at least a foot, and the buses are all inaccessible. The ferries from one end of the island to the other are mostly, but not all, accessible.
 

The best place was actually the hotel (Willowbank). Their wheelchair room has a wonderful sea view - they finished the room for our arrival, so we could advise them on handrail placement etc. They were wonderful. The rest of the island?  Dire.

 

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4. DISABLED HOLIDAY INFO
 

Frank and Sue Napper, of the UK, designed this excellent web site that provides accessible travel information for the Midlands, the North, South West, Wales or Shropshire regions of the United Kingdom.

 

Their site shares a great collection of accessible places and activities. Don’t miss their three access guides on the Shropshire area that can be downloaded for free as pdfs. To learn more, visit their web site at http://disabledholidayinfo.org.uk/about.htm

 

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5. ACCESSIBLE CELTIC CASTLES

 

The words castle and accessible rarely belong in the same sentence, so it was a treat to learn of this site detailing accessible properties in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland that meet wheelie needs. As always, it is essential to query any specific access needs in advance prior to making a reservation. Pont your browser to http://www.celticcastles.com/disabled.asp

 

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6 OUCH!
 

Readers may enjoy Tom Shakespeare’s comments on disability in Japan in this edition of the BBC’s OUCH! …It’s a disability thing. Shakespeare a disabled traveler visited Japan for only one week but gained a world of cultural insights. Share his journey at

http://www.bbc.co.uk/ouch/columnists/tom/270306_index.shtml

 

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Missed a Travel E-Zine? Catch up on a previous issue by visiting our Travel E-Zine Archive at http://www.globalaccessnews.com/travel_ezine_archive.htm

 

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Global Access News welcomes your travel reports, tips and comments at clearpath@cox.net Thanks for sharing!

 

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