Traveling with disabilities and the Disability Discrimination Act
In the early days, before the Disability Discrimination Act was initiated, traveling with any form of ambulatory disability was a nightmare to say the least.
There where no wheelchair attendants, no disabled friendly facilities, and plane, bus or train travel was pretty much...try at your own risk.
Today is a new era, and in this era, government, as well as individuals have come to empathize with our needs and understand our request for equal access in the work place and in public facilities near and abroad.
The Disability Discrimination Act Has Been Put In Place to Set Guidelines for All Involved to Follow
As direct participants of the actions, laws and guidelines of this welcomed piece of legislation, It is up to each and every one of us to familiarize ourselves with the various laws governing this movement
• The scope of this movement is vast and covers all sectors of the private sector.
These are just a handful of basic concepts and statements distinguished as law under this act. For additional information, view a copy of the Disability Discrimination Act, as the shear number of clauses and guidelines of this act exceed the scope of our article.
What's Most Important is That You're Aware of Your Protection Under These Laws
Once you are versed in the rules you may want to take the next step which is to take every precaution necessary to assure that you play your part by making it easy for these laws to work for YOU!
Tips for this easy transition are as folllows....•Always arrive an hour or more early so any unforeseen anomalies or mishaps can be addressed without interfering with your departure or arrival.
•Make sure you know the locations of both departure and arrival facilities wheelchair assistance program. This will make boarding and maneuvering through the establishments much easier and allow for smooth processing wright up to the moment of arrival or departure.
•Check in your luggage curb side write away to avoid hauling belongings through the facility.
•After luggage is checked in go directly to gate. This location sometimes will allow you to receive the best seating before boarding!
•Always ask gate attendant for "GATE TAG" - (GT) assures your chair will arrive at destination with you... which we all agree is a must!!! This is a crucial procedure as they will loose your chair without this tag!
•Be prepared to be searched as this is something we all must endure with our new Home Land Security measures in place. Don't be alarmed for this is a good thing with all the happenings in the world today.
•Look for disability guide books at given facility as they are an excellent source of information and insight as to that facilities policies. Some airports and other larger transportation HUBs actually have lounges specifically designed for persons with disabilities.
•Contact any hotel you plan to spend your well deserved getaway, or business trip in... and inquire about that particular facilities accessibility. By doing this you can narrow down the possibility of running into any unwanted situations.
•Confirm reservations with hotels as this will also narrow possibility of ugly confrontations and unnecessary delays.
•Look into accessibility of any tourist destinations you plan to visit while abroad. This country has done an excellent job in the last ten years of cracking down on public facilities not complying with the DDAs’ policies on equal access.
•There remain holes in the system that some organizations manage to slip through. So you should always, always check to see if you're headed to a destination that follows DDA criteria and is disable friendly!
These tips are not set in stone although are a fabulous guideline to follow. Remember to arrive early, get all your ducks in a row and If things begin to drift out of place, stay calm and contact that facilities disability office.
There are thousands of reported cases of disability discrimination every year although this a a very, very small percentage compared to the thousands of disabled or special needs travelers, wheeling and flying around the globe! All-in-all disabled travel can, is and will be a pleasant experience for you and yours... given you know the rules of the game!
Have a safe trip and a wonderful vacation. Be sure to come back and pass on any additional tips YOU may have for us. We'd love to hear your stories!!!
About the Author: Daryl Clayton Kennedy is the editor of disabled mobility scooter.com and a regular contributor to mobility related websites and blogs throughout the net. Daryl's’ mobility scooter reviews and three wheel scooter recommendations will guide you down path of least resistance when it comes to choosing mobility devices that compensate for your ambulatory needs!