Travelers with Disabilities
Bermuda is far from ideal as a perfectly accessible destination for travelers with disabilities, but improvements have been made in recent years. Many more attractions, city sidewalks, restaurants, nightclubs, and public buildings have been made wheelchair accessible over the past decade. However, many places, including retail stores and restaurants, still pose great physical challenges to people with disabilities. While the fast ferries and ramp-fitted Ferry Terminal are a breeze, public buses are not equipped at all for disabled access. Disabled lobby groups have also complained that too few taxis accommodate wheelchairs. A few do, however, including Island Transfer’s minivans (tel. 441/734-8260), which can accommodate groups of up to nine people in wheelchairs.
Access Bermuda (1 Loyal Hill, Devonshire, FL 03, tel. 441/295-9016, www.access.bm) provides useful information to physically challenged visitors, including viable modes of transport such as wheelchair-accessible taxis, as well as appropriate sights and activities.
The WindReach Recreational Village (57 Spice Hill Rd., Warwick, tel. 441/238-2469, fax 441/238-2597, www.windreach.org) is a nonprofit community group located on a quiet chunk of rural property surrounded by agricultural fields and residential neighborhoods. It offers special-needs services and activities, including a petting zoo, a wheelchair-accessible playground, and a fully accessible camping area with wheelchair-accommodating cabins, bathrooms, and shower facilities. Located on the same property, Bermuda Riding for the Disabled (tel. 441/238-7433, brd [at] ibl [dot] bm) provides therapeutic riding lessons and programs for children and adults with disabilities.
The Bermuda Red Cross (Charleswood, 9 Berry Hill Rd., Paget, tel. 441/236-8253) rents equipment such as walking frames and wheelchairs. Other resources include the Association for the Mentally Handicapped (tel. 441/292-7206); Bermuda Islands Association of the Deaf (tel. 441/238-8116, biad [at] therock [dot] bm); Bermuda Physically Handicapped Association (Summerhaven, South Shore Rd., Hamilton Parish, tel. 441/293-5035); and Bermuda Society for the Blind (Beacon House, 3 Beacon St., Hamilton, tel. 441/292-3231).
© Rosemary Jones from Moon Bermuda, 2nd Edition