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Traveling with Disabilities

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International disability standards vary, so it pays to prepare before you take off

People who are disabled face special challenges when traveling the world. However, such challenges don’t have to prevent physically challenged tourists from having a wonderful time. Foreign countries have their own standards of accessibility for disabled travelers. Some have nondiscrimination laws that help to protect travelers with disabilities, while others do not. Taking the time to prepare before you head out on your journey can help ensure that your planned destination will be accessible, safe and enjoyable.

Consider these points to help make your trip a wonderful experience.

Research in advance: Learn about planned stops and ask questions about services available. Consider the level of health care available, as well as local transportation needs to and from the airport, luggage assistance, and whether other help will be needed to leave the airport terminal.

When making reservations, inform the travel agent or carrier of your disability and the equipment you use, and, if necessary, request a wheelchair be brought to the gate upon arrival and any other assistance needed while flying and at the airport. In all cases, ask that your needs and requests be documented as part of the reservation, and take down the name of the agent.

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