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Most Accessible World Travel Destinations

  • Synopsis: Published: 2015-12-11 (Revised/Updated 2017-06-25) - A list of cities around the world that offer excellent accessibility and are making the effort to become more accessible to disabled persons. For further information pertaining to this article contact: Victoria Abbott-Fleming at www.burningnightscrps.org.

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Quote: "Prepare for any eventuality, even in your accommodation. If practical, bring a ramp, shower chair and a reaching device to grab items."

More and more cities around the world are making the effort to become more accessible to disabled persons. Here, we take a look at some that offer excellent accessibility.

Statistics on Disability around the World:

  • It is estimated that there are currently 650 million people in the world living with a disability.
  • In the majority of OECD countries, females have a higher rate of disability than males.
  • The World Bank estimates that 20% of the world's poorest people have some kind of disability.

Main Problems Encountered By the Disabled Tourist:

  • Lack of well adapted hotel rooms.
  • Lack of accessible airport transfers.
  • Lack of wheelchair accessible vehicles.
  • Lack of accessible restaurants, bars, etc.
  • Lack of adapted toilets in restaurants and public places.
  • Lack of professional staff capable of advising on accessibility issues.

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Accessible Travel Destinations Infograhic

5 of the Most Accessible Travel Destinations

Seattle, USA

Seattle's condensed downtown area and public transport system makes it highly accessible. Railway system complies completely with ADA standards due to it being built in 2009. Accessible attractions include: Seattle Space Museum, Pike Place Market and the Space Needle.

Where to Stay?

Hyatt at Olive 8

  • Hotel includes a variety of assistance services.
  • Nearly every feature offered in Braille.
  • Includes audio-visual smoke detectors and ADA approved rooms.

Montreal, Canada

Montreal's public railway system offers 7 wheelchair accessible stations.

Wheelchair friendly attractions include botanical gardens, a fine arts museum and European style cathedrals.

Where to Stay?

Fairmont Queen Elizabeth

  • Includes 13 rooms that fully accommodate wheelchairs.
  • Rooms are equipped with teletype phones, vibrating alarm clocks and door sensors for the hearing impaired.

Sydney, Australia

All ferries include loading ramp, and taxis are accessible too.

Almost all attractions are easily accessible, including Sydney Opera House, Sydney Aquarium, Sydney Tower, Taronga Zoo and Port Jackson.

The majority of restaurants, shops and accommodation provide excellent facilities and are suitable for wheelchair users.

Where to Stay?

BreakFree on George

  • Accessible rooms include wide door width.
  • All furniture can easily be moved or removed.
  • Tea and coffee making facilities can all be reached from a seated position.
  • Management can assist guests in hiring equipment.
  • 10 accessible rooms in total.

Dublin, Ireland

The city includes easy access transport, dropped kerbs and delayed traffic lights.

All the main tourist attractions, shopping areas and entertainment venues are almost all fully accessible in a wheelchair.

The city is extremely compact and in the most part flat.

Where to Stay?

The Grand Canal Hotel

  • In close proximity to all major tourist attractions such as Trinity College, Temple Bar and Grafton Street.
  • The hotel includes 7 wheelchair accessible rooms.
  • Wheelchair accessible shower cabins are also available.

Stratford on Avon, England

Renowned for being the home of William Shakespeare.

Town includes dropped kerbs, flat pavements and level cobblestones.

All main tourist attractions are fully wheelchair accessible despite being originally built in the 15th century.

Includes wheelchair accessible pubs and cafes by the river.

Where to Stay?

The New Inn Hotel

  • Specifically designed suites with facilities for persons with disabilities.
  • All located on the ground floor.
  • Includes wet room shower and easy access toilet facilities.

Tips before Traveling

  • Bicycle shops are great for replacement wheelchair parts.
  • Learn some foreign vocabulary that can help describe your situation and needs.
  • Consider travel insurance.
  • Bring extra medication, and your prescription, and ensure that it is legal in the country you are visiting.
  • Look for disability organizations or resources that can provide you with area specific information.
  • If you use an electric wheelchair, bring a plug adapter and voltage converter.
  • Prepare for any eventuality, even in your accommodation. If practical, bring a ramp, shower chair and a reaching device to grab items.
  • Know your rights, particularly for airline travel.
  • Understand cultural differences and be prepared for more, or less, attention in some countries.

References:

https://www.disabled-world.com/travel/

www.independenttraveler.com/travel-tips/senior-travel/disabled-travel

www.huffingtonpost.com/oyster/handicap-accessible-travel-destinations_b_2293341.html

www.childrensdisabilities.info/travel/disability-travel-market.html

www.curbfreewithcorylee.com/2015/05/06/most-handicapped-accessible-travel-destinations/

With thanks to Victoria Abbott-Fleming www.burningnightscrps.org

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