Sometimes we wait years before getting the opportunity to take a proper vacation. The time spent waiting for that special period of rest and revitalization is spent planning and anticipating, preparing for the departure date. There’s an ideal vacation destination waiting for you out there, and it has the perfect special needs provisions. Here’s three places with a solid understanding of the American Disabilities Act, providing convenience and fun for anyone with a disability.
Honolulu Beaches and Hotels
Accessibility to beaches doesn’t come at a price here. There’s no need to be carried awkwardly down to the warm waters when beach wheelchairs are available on a first come first served basis. The fun wheelchairs have large bubble wheels for easily navigating the soft sand. Boardwalks come up to the edge of many beaches and local hotels have lowered light switches and elevator controls that respect the needs of vacationers in wheelchairs. The same thoughtfulness applies to bathrooms, with higher sinks allowing space for a chair to roll up and under, allowing an independence-minded special needs individual to wash-up before bed. Ramps and flat stretches of sidewalk abound, and there’s countless options for taking handicap vans further inshore to explore subtropical areas of interest just like any other tourist.
A Top Caribbean Vacation
There’s an embarrassing selection of top vacation islands in the Caribbean, but, for guaranteed ease of access, consider visiting Puerto Rico or the US Virgin Islands. The mobility resource wrote a good article on some other handicap accessible places to visit. These islands are bound to follow ADA regulations, which means you’ll always find doors set at a wider than normal width to admit wheelchairs, and a ramp leading into every hotel, restaurant, and building of interest. You’ll feel like any other visitor on an excursion to an exciting new land, maintaining your dignity without needing to ask for a strangers aid. The same general rules apply to the island bathrooms, with roll-in showers and conveniently located support handles replacing many traditional bathtubs. Opt for a tourism trip of a local attraction and an open-top bus shows up with at least one wheelchair lift ready to help. Children, young ones demanding additional attention due to severe autism or other developmental handicaps, enjoy fun activities thanks to understanding and patient hotel staff members at autism-friendly resorts, while parents relax and let go of some of the stress of responsibility.
Whisked Away to London on an English Vacation
Older buildings and historic structures tend to be a bigger challenge to the handicapped vacationer because they were originally conceived and built before regulations for accessibility were created. Landmarks in Europe often include little more than a spiral of stone stairs and inaccessible, cramped bathrooms. London defies this description providing iconic taxis and buses outfitted with modern storage spaces and lowering hydraulics to ease that first step onto the public vehicle. London black cab drivers are trained to help special needs travelers, patiently stowing wheelchairs and mobility scooters in the rear storage space. Museums have ramps, handicapped bathrooms, and sign language multimedia guides for the hearing impaired.
All modern facilities are well-equipped to match exacting British accessibility requirements, but smaller Bed And Breakfast buildings, although charming and rustic in nature, may still be too cramped to offer enough space for wheelchairs. Nevertheless, staff do their utmost to help.
Providing facilities for comfort and convenience was once regarded an afterthought by city planners and vacation resorts, but they’re now widely regarded as an essential part of a building, an integral component of design. All vacation spots in America uphold these standards, some surpassing them in an effort to provide an unforgettably restful and fun experience. Not all countries live up to these standards and it’s a good idea to contact an accessibility trained travel expert before considering traveling out of the country. Above all, go have fun and don’t be marginalized by your handicap when there are bountiful vacation options.