Welcome to Wheelchair Travel — Accessible Travel Blog, a catalog of what I’ve learned while exploring the world with one hand, a passport and my power wheelchair.
My name is John Morris.
In the Fall of 2012, a car accident changed the course of my life. Severe burns laid claim to three of my limbs, making me a triple amputee. Shock, fear, anger, sadness, hopelessness. Yes, I grappled with all of those emotions. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about.
Before my disability, I was a traveler. I took flights for no other reason than to fly. I explored destinations all around the world, sometimes for only a day or two. Travel was, in effect, my first true love.
I refused to surrender that to disability.
And so, more than a year after my car accident, with bedsores, amputations and all, I took my first trip as a disabled person… to Los Angeles. It was a joyous occasion—my alma mater, Florida State University, won the college football national championship game. And I was there.
But planning that trip was difficult. The internet was filled with unreliable information about traveling with a disability. Nothing I read prepared me for what traveling with a wheelchair is actually like. As I began to take more trips—to Washington, D.C., then to Boston, Seattle and finally to Beijing, China—I asked myself, why hasn’t someone created a resource that tells me what I need to know?
I want to Open Your World (and mine).
I traveled for more than a year before launching WheelchairTravel.org. And what was initially envisioned as a place where I could share a few tips has grown to become a diverse community of readers and guest writers from every corner of the world.
The reality is, more than 1% of the world’s population uses a wheelchair. And nearly 20% have a disability that limits one or more activities of daily living. So there is certainly a market for accessible travel, and my readership is proof of the demand.
Just like me, wheelchair users know that the majority of online resources for wheelchair accessible travel are limited and unreliable. With this site, I aim to disrupt that unacceptable status quo. I write only about the places I have visited and the experiences I have had from the seat of my wheelchair. If I cannot be confident in the accuracy of information, I will not publish it. I am committed to providing my readers with the tools to access the world independently or with friends/family/caregivers.
In addition to writing about travel destinations, I also have a deep interest in disability advocacy, diversity, inclusion and visibility. Through work with like-minded disability organizations and businesses, WheelchairTravel.org’s policy objectives are heard in corporate boardrooms and in the halls of Congress. I travel the world, spreading the message of equal access and inclusion to all who will listen, and am regularly booked at some of the most sought-after speaking events. I work every day to engage with business and government leaders to create a world that is more accessible to everyone. But my favorite work is educating readers about what to expect when traveling with a mobility impairment, the reward of which is hearing about all the amazing places they’ve gone and experiences they’ve had. You deserve that.
Together, we can be partners in forging a path forward for our disabled peers and the people who join our community every day. Get out there and see the world with me!
If you’d like to join in on my accessible travel journey, follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest updates! Sign-up to receive the Wheelchair Travel Newsletter! Have questions? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll do my best to respond with answers! Also be sure to check out the latest happenings in the Accessible Travel Advocacy Center.