ADA guarantees equal treatment but cannot help when traveling outside of country

The Americans with Disabilities Act guarantees that disabled people are treated the same as those without disabilities under the law. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has helped many gain access who could not before its passage but as more people with disabilities travel life can still throw up some hurdles especially when traveling in a foreign country where the ADA does not apply. In this post we will discuss some travel tips that will help disabled travelers.

Traveling with a disability can be difficult because each person and disability is unique but hotel rooms, rental cars and plane seats often are not. Service providers in the United States are required to provide accommodations; however, many service providers need time to make necessary adjustments. Therefore to make the best arrangements call ahead to service providers and speak with them about your reservation and needs. To ensure that accommodations have been made call the service provider 24 hours to 48 hours before your arrival.

When speaking with a service provider about a disability and needed accommodations be specific when describing the disability. Some service providers may not be familiar with medical terms or terms specific to accessible travel. During the conversation be sure to explain abilities and limitations and do not downplay the severity of the disability.

Before going on a trip have a conversation with your doctor about your plans. A doctor can provide advice on how to handle long flights, the unavailability of prescription drugs, limited medical facilities and other obstacles. In certain cases your doctor may challenge you by questioning your travel plans.

During our next post we will continue with more tips for accessible travel.

Source:, “Paving the way for travelers with disabilities,” Oct. 11, 2011


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