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When you are disabled sometimes your disability does not limit how much you can travel but sometimes it does and you’re not able to travel far. I am fortunate that I am able to travel as long as I bring the necessary equipment and someone is willing to go with me but not all disabled people have that luxury. My friend Karly is unable to travel outside of Florida because or hotels are not accessible to her and do not have the necessary things she would need to travel the world. I don’t know what it’s like to be totally homebound and unable to travel because I can travel and sometimes do with my family. In this post, I interviewed my friend who is unable to travel to get some insight on what it’s like to be totally homebound to help you understand that this is a problem that we should be taking more seriously. It’s not right that disabled people have to choose to sacrifice vacations because airlines or hotels don’t want to find a way to be more accessible and make travel possible for disabled people.
Why can’t you travel?
I can’t travel on my own because my mom is also my brother’s caregiver and it is even harder for him to leave home. Hotels and airplanes are also not accessible because to ride a plane you need to transfer which I cannot do easily and hotels do not provide the necessary equipment I would need to function.
How far can you travel before it becomes too much?
I can’t travel outside of Florida because hotels are not accessible so anything more than a few hours is too much.
Have you ever been able to travel if so when did you lose the ability to be able to travel?
It’s never been an option for my family
If you can’t travel on family vacations what do you do?
We just make the best of where we live and try to find activities in our area. We go to Disney and Orlando a lot and try and make fun plans that are close to home.
What would hotels need to provide in order for you to be able to travel?
Plenty of space so we could use our hoyer lift. Providing a hoyer lift would be a big help because it’s hard to bring with us. Adjustable beds are helpful and the beds need space underneath for the lift to roll under.
If you were able to create a new travel agency for the disabled what services would that agency provide?
I honestly don’t know why someone hasn’t thought of this yet because it would helpful for giving disabled people with physical challenges the opportunity to travel on their own. If my friend had the opportunity to create a new travel agency for disabled people the services would include research into accessible locations, help planning and advocating, and staff to travel with those who need assistance. This is a great idea because if this was actually a service, it would allow disabled people to experience places without their caregiver that they never thought they would be able to.
Do you ever become depressed about not being able to travel? How do you get through it?
Yes, all the time because it is sad that I can’t experience the same things abled people can when it seems like I should be able if we would just prioritized accessibility. I try to get out when I can and think of ways I can make it work in the future.
Do you have any out of town family? Does it bother you that you are not able to travel to go see them?
All of my extended family is out of town and it sometimes I am bothered that I can’t go out of state but occasionally my aunt comes to visit which is nice considering I can’t go see her!
Since you are unable to travel, does it bother you when others talk about their travel plans?
I enjoy hearing about it because it’s interesting, but it makes me sad and jealous because it’s unfair that I can”t travel since we live in an inaccessible world.
Have you ever been able to travel? If so what do you miss most about it?
My disability has always made traveling difficult so I have never been able to travel more than a few hours.
When going to events what is the biggest physical challenge?
When going out places the biggest challenge I have is inaccessible buildings that are either too crowded or everything is too high, too low, or just can’t accommodate my wheelchair! I can’t get up and walk when something is inaccessible like some disabled can so when my wheelchair doesn’t fit it can be a big problem and super stressful!
When you are disabled traveling one of the biggest obstacles you will face is traveling and that is mainly because we live in an inaccessible world that doesn’t want to accommodate disabled people. I am lucky that I can travel but since I have so many physical challenges I am unable to travel alone which is annoying because there are places I would like to see but never will be able to because I am disabled. If the world was more accessible for disabled people we might be able to travel without our caregivers and see the world but because accessibility is not prioritized this will never be an option. Disabled people should be able to experience cool things just like abled do but because everything we do has an obstacle we are severely limited and no one wants to make it easier so we can participate. It is frustrating that the world is not set up for disabled people because we could do the same types of things as our abled friends if there were necessary accommodations to make it possible. Does your disability limit your ability to travel and how far can you travel before it becomes too much? Thank you Karly for taking the time for this interview because I am sure it will bring so much value to my readers!
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