Travelers with Disabilities
More people with disabilities are traveling than ever before. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires most public buildings to make provisions for disabled people, although in practice accessibility may be spotty.
When you make your hotel reservations, always check that the hotel is prepared to accommodate you. Airlines will also make special arrangements for you if you request help in advance. To reduce stress, try to travel during off-peak times.
Several national organizations have information and advice about traveling with disabilities. The Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality (www.sath.org) publishes links to major airlines’ accessibility policies and publishes travel tips for people with all types of disabilities, including blindness, deafness, mobility disorders, diabetes, kidney disease, and arthritis. The Society publishes Open World, a magazine about accessible travel.
Wheelchair Getaways (800/642-2042, www.wheelchairgetaways.com) is a national chain specializing in renting vans that are wheelchair accessible or otherwise designed for disabled drivers and travelers. Wheelchair Getaways has locations in Memphis (901/795-6533) and Knoxville (865/717-3997), and they will deliver to Nashville and other locations in the state.
Avis offers Avis Access, a program for travelers with disabilities. Call the dedicated 24-hour toll-free number 800/879-4273 for help renting a car with features such as transfer boards, hand controls, spinner knobs, and swivel seats.
© Susanna Henighan Potter from Moon Tennessee, 5th Edition