GLOBAL ACCESS NEWS TRAVEL E-ZINE
VOLUME V, NUMBER 9, September 2004
Copyright © 2004, 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 on this E-Zine. Websites and e-mail addresses, however, change frequently, so changes may have occurred after that date.

======================================================================================
 
Welcome to the September 2004 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. HONG KONG ACCESS
2. FREE TRAVEL PAMPHLET
3. ACCESSIBLE ST. THOMAS, V.I.
4. DISABLED TRAVEL TIPS
5. WORLDWIDE ACCESS TIDBITS
6. WHEELCHAIR NOMAD VISITS BEIJING, CHINA
 
======================================================================================
 
1. HONG KONG ACCESS
 
Mabel Chau, of Hong Kong’s Easy- Access Travel Ltd. (EAT), wrote to share the news of her company’s one-stop accessible travel services for Hong Kong and China. They specialize in assisting travelers requiring the use of wheelchairs, mobility aids, and attendants. Services include organizing accessible hotel reservations, tours, ticketing, and making visa applications. If you have any questions about EAT services, write gloria@easyaccesstravelhk.com

======================================================================================
 
2. FREE TRAVEL PAMPHLET

 
Air travel is rarely glitch-free for disabled travelers. But knowledge is power, so the Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association in the U.S. is now offering a free pamphlet designed to increase awareness of access requirements and smooth the way for disabled fliers. Their pamphlet, “Accessible Air Travel,” details the Federal Air Carrier Access Act, which requires air carriers to provide upon request appropriate access equipment and services for disabled passengers. Equipment ranges from boarding chairs to on-board wheelchairs and accessible bathrooms. Services include correct storage of the passenger's personal adaptive devices, the opportunity for disabled fliers to pre-board, and assistance in boarding and leaving the plane. For a copy of the booklet, call 800-444-0120 or download it at their web site http://www.unitedspinal.org

 ======================================================================================
 
3. ACCESSIBLE ST. THOMAS, VIRGIN ISLANDS

 

St. Thomas, Virgin Islands now offers several accessible features for disabled visitors. Visitors can stay at one of the two adapted rooms at the Secret Harbor Resort www.secretharborvi.com
 or take a 2-½ hour tour on a sightseeing trolley with a wheelchair lift by visiting http://www.accessvi.com/
 More adventurous travelers might choose the Aqua Action Dive Center, which offers an accessible scuba program at www.aadivers.com

======================================================================================
 
4. DISABLED TRAVEL TIPS


Sue Willis, of Sydney, Australia, who has previously shared her experiences in India and Noosa (See the Global Access Travel Archives) wrote to share some travel tips she learned while traveling with her disabled daughter Joanna.
 
Sue writes: “I already wrote you about my two experiences travelling to India and Noosa Queensland, Australia with my quadriplegic daughter.
 
This time, I would like to write about the difficulties, which I know are the reason so many quadriplegics stay at home as travelling is out of the question because of the lack of facilities at the hotels/motels. This also affects the carers and families of the disabled, who in many cases won't have a holiday if they cannot take the disabled family members with them.
 
To travel in Australia, from Sydney to Noosa (1200km in 15 hrs) with one night stopover; I need another person to help me to lift my C6 quadriplegic daughter between chair, bed and commode. This is not very safe for the disabled and the two people doing the lifting. I also find it very hard to dress my daughter bending over those low beds as it is extremely hard on my back.
 
In most destinations, there are lots of accessible accommodations, and it's possible to hire equipment from the local chemist, which is delivered prior to our arrival. This equipment is available for weekly hire and there is about $50 delivery charges.
 
The problem arises when stopping overnight during the trip. The disabled sign on the accommodation guide only means that the shower is accessible and that there are no steps. But we need more than that.
 
Some disabled accommodations (maybe just one motel every 100 km) should have the following facilities for people unable to transfer themselves: A normal queen bed, plus a single bed with enough space next to it for a wheelchair; A set of elephant feet ($100), which are small plastic feet that fit under the legs or castors of a normal single bed to elevate it. They are very easy to place and very safe; A wheel-in shower; a manual hoist ($1000) and commode ($500) available for hire. The hoist should be hired without the sling as it saves money on cleaning. The disabled traveller can carry his own sling.
 
The commode is a shower and toilet chair. The hoist is to lift the disabled person for transfers between chair, commode and bed. The sling is the canvas seat that holds the person and hooks on to the hoist.
 
The hoist and commode are on wheels and are easy to store outside the room when not in use. The elephant feet are small, stackable, light and easy to store.
 
As the traveller will hire the equipment, this will be beneficial for the motel owners too as they will soon recover the cost of the equipment and make a profit from hiring it. They will also get more business and a free advertisement. The motels would be listed in web sites for disabled travelers. I would send the lists myself.
 
In the accommodation guides, the participating motels should be identified with a sign for "Hoist, Commode and bed raisers for hire".
 
It would be nice if there were accessible suites or apartments to stay overnight, especially when travelling with family and friends. This gives more privacy to the disabled person while having the carer and friends available, if needed, during the night.
 
To hire a hoist and commode in advance from the local chemist to be delivered at the motel is not possible because: some chemists do not hire for just one day, they do not deliver on weekends, and there are $50 delivery charges for just one night. This solution also means that a disabled person cannot travel without booking in advance, instead of stopping when they need it.”
 
Editor’s note: Thanks for sharing, Sue!

======================================================================================

5. WORLDWIDE ACCESS TIDBITS

Cambridge, England
is one of the latest cities to add lowered-floor buses to its routes. The new busses have proved a boon to disabled passengers, as well as elderly riders and parents with baby strollers.
 
London, England continues to phase out its old double-decker routemaster buses and add more lowered-floor “bendy” buses to its routes. Routemasters can only carry 73 passengers, compared to 120 riders on “bendy” buses.
 
Sacramento, California’s new comprehensive “Dial 511” travel transportation information phone number is now available. The new service includes paratransit information for disabled travelers in the Sacramento region. Their toll-free service is available in English and Spanish.
 
Travel Web Sites Comply with ADA. Two popular U.S. travel websites, www.priceline.com
and www.ramada.com have agreed to comply with ADA Internet standards by providing blind and visually impaired users with better access. Both Priceline and Ramada will make changes to their websites’ coding, which will allow users with specialized technology to navigate the sites and listen to the web site content.

Beijing, China is busy preparing for the 2008 and that, thankfully, includes increasing accessible amenities in this ancient city.

Metro stations on lines No. 1 and 2 are now being made more accessible for disabled users, and accessible toilets, telephones and elevators are being added in the stations.
 
Beijing’s local legislature recently adopted the Beijing Regulation on Construction and Management of Barrier-free Facilities, which calls for increased building access for airports, hospitals, railway stations and parks. Beijing’s 622,000 disabled people have much more than the upcoming Olympics to celebrate.

======================================================================================
 
6. WHEELCHAIR NOMAD VISITS BEIJING, CHINA


Rosemary Ciotti, just back from Beijing, China, shares her insights on what wheelchair users should expect while traveling this fabled city. http://www.globalaccessnews.com/beijingchina04.htm

======================================================================================

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

======================================================================================

Back to Travel E-Zine Archives
Back to Global Access News Index Page

Copyright © Global Access News 1995-2010 "All Rights Reserved"