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The wheelchair traveler.


1990 Edition

written and published by

Douglass R. Annand, Ball Hill Road, Milford, N.H. 03055, (603) 673-4539, 1990. $20.00.

The following excerpt from the Prologue has been reprinted with permission from the publisher. Although written for adults, the advice is practical for parents traveling with children.

It really is amazing the progress that can be made when a commitment is made to make ALL new buildings wheelchair accessible. Of course it means that one of these years - the sooner the better - there will be no need for The Wheelchair Traveler, but until that day arrives, here we are, and as much as I like to travel I can't cover all the places - so - with this book you have received several reply forms in the back of the book to use in reporting any new listings or corrections you can send me, as over a hundred of you did for this edition, so keep those cards and letters coming and let us be on our way...


The world of travel, that is. If you can handle your wheelchair sufficiently to cover your daily needs, you can and should travel. The more you travel, the more you learn - the more you learn, the more you enjoy life, and life is to be enjoyed.

So let us travel - and see the world ... and the world is available ! HOW TO USE THIS BOOK

The best way to get the most from this book is to plan ahead. As soon as possible in the morning phone ahead and make a reservation. Where? To a listing that is 50-100 miles FARTHER than you want to go that day. Then when you are ready to stop for the day, check the listing in The Wheelchair Traveler and look around a little at the nearby motels hotels and possibly find one that you can use. If so, take it, if not, you can still get to your reservation, be sure to call and cancel so some other wheelchair traveler can have it. When you find an accessible motel that isn't listed be sure to send a postcard or note giving the vital statistics. It only takes a minute to jot it all down even if you don't mail it until you get home, it might be a real help to someone else next year.

Carry some sort of portable ramp. Whether it be manufactured or homemade is of little concern, but it should be light and or can be disassembled easily. Join a nationwide auto club. Carry a cane with you that has a rubber tip on the end; it will give you the friction to pull in papers, map, etc. from the back of the car's trunk. Also carry several clothes hangers; motels lock theirs in and are difficult to get out and put back. A flashlight that stands on end also helps when there in no bedside light; a low wide-based candle will do the same thing, handle with care.

Most major airlines will carry the handicapped traveler if you follow some short, sensible rules, namely:

Make your hotel and plane reservations EARLY.

* Tell them you are in a wheelchair.

* Talk about the loading procedure, so you and they know what to expect.

* Dehydrate, and stay that way; once you are seated in the plane you will have to stay there.

* Organize an emergency kit, those things you can't do without for the next 24 hours; luggage does get misplaced occasionally.

* Arrive early, you will probably load first and get off last.

* Get a luggage tag for your wheelchair, it will be stored with the baggage or get an "escort tag" or "cabin tag" and the chair will be brought to the cabin with you.

* Tip skycaps well, you will probably be making it easier for those who follow.

* Always be considerate of your fellow passengers and flight attendants, the latter is a host/hostess not a medical aid or nurse.

* Be sure the airline has notified your destination that you are in a wheelchair and will need assistance in deplaning.

* Carry with you a letter from your doctor saying that you are healthy enough to fly.

Flying is easy and with just a little planning it is fun. To do so, write: National Easter Seal Society for Crippled Children & Adults, 2023 W. Ogden Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60612 for the booklet Airline Transportation for the Handicapped. It describes the policies of 22 airlines regarding the handicapped passenger. If you do have IMMEDIATE AND SERIOUS trouble with the airline, call the C.A.B. Hotline (202) 382-7735 collect. Tell the C.A.B. what the trouble is and they will do what they can after hearing both sides of the problem. For planning purposes write to: Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, Washington, D.C. 20201, or phone: (202) 245-1801; and get a copy of a very handy and well designed guide called Access Travel: A Guide to the Accessibility of Airport Terminals. It lists over a hundred airports including several outside the country.

Available from Exceptional Parent Press - $20 plus $3.50 shipping. To order, use order form on page 61.
COPYRIGHT 1991 EP Global Communications, Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1991 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:excerpts
Author:Annand, Douglass R.
Publication:The Exceptional Parent
Date:Jun 1, 1991
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