Jul 20th, 2012 | By | Category: Senior Travel

Special Needs Travel: Wheelchair Accessible

I recently came across an article in a local newspaper about four ladies in a wheelchair, accompanied by their husbands who took a trip to Israel. If you or a family member has special needs, traveling and touring may not be the first thing on your wish list. Lack of accessibility, amenities and understanding are just some of the barriers that may be in your way. Luckily for seniors there are some great organizations that will give senior citizens the freedom to see the world no matter what disability they may have. Thanks to technical achievements, seniors with disabilities have many possibilities to be mobile and independent today. Trips to foreign countries or even continents are more and more offered as “barrier-free” and that’s just a little exciting for senior travelers.

Israel4All Holy Land Tours

“The world is an open road” they say and Israel4All specializes in disabilities and special needs tourism. Israel4All believes that people with physical limitations and special needs should have the same opportunities for travel as those who are able bodied. Israel4All promotes, facilitates and provides for the inclusion of all individuals with disabilities.

So I explored a little further…

Wow!  There are several firms that have special needs travel for seniors: Hammer Travel provides a variety of experiences for individuals or groups. Hammer’s mission is to “provide travel opportunities for people with developmental disabilities that are unique, safe, and enjoyable.”

Flying Wheels Travel provides people with physical disabilities, chronic illness or difficulty walking the opportunity to extend their lifestyle with unique travel and recreation destinations while empowering individuals and their family members to explore the world.

New Directions is a non-profit organization providing leisure and educational travel opportunities for teenagers, adults and seniors who have brain impairments such as mild to moderate developmental disabilities, cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome and autism.

Accessible Escapes provides package tours and customizable tours in Italy to those with physical disabilities. Autism Escapes also allows travelers to specify individual diet, hygiene and mobility needs.

Trips, Inc has organized water and theme park trips, outdoor adventures, sports trips, cruises, and trips to international and domestic locations. Trips Inc. prides itself on their 1:3 staffer to traveler ratio.

If you want more information on agencies and cruise lines, you can visit Disabled Travelers for a listing of travel agencies by service and location. Disabled Travelers gives detailed information on arranging trips and cruises, and features travelers’ reviews of their experiences.

And if that was not enough…

I didn’t know that there were so many agencies that specialize in special needs travel.  And lastly, Disabled World can be of assistance to seniors who may be thinking of traveling locally or abroad.  So go for it seniors and wheel on over to a country of your choice.  Enjoy the trip. jeb

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