Here is a round-up of the latest news in the world of accessible travel and disability, including a theme park rolling out the red carpet for children with Autism, accessible trains by VIA Rail Canada, new services for passengers with disabilities at Cairo Airport, an exciting travel conference in Las Vegas and more.
Accessible travel news from around the web:
- Sesame Street theme park makes room for Autism — A Pennsylvania theme park with a Sesame Street theme is the first to receive certification as a “Certified Autism Center” from the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards. Park employees received specialized training to understand sensory awareness and communicate with children and park-goers who have Autism.
- Wheelchair accessible trail in the Himalayas — Nepal has taken a (very small) step to make the beauty of the Himalayas more accessible to people with disabilities by opening the 1.3 km long Deurali-Naudanda trail that is wheelchair accessible. The stretch is part of the 14-kilometer-long path that connects Sarangkot to Naudanda, of which 3 kilometers are planned to be accessible. The trail offers views of the Annapurna, Fishtail and Manaslu mountains.
- Join me in LAS VEGAS for ZorkFest 2018 (!!) — This Memorial Day Weekend, I’m traveling to Las Vegas to attend ZorkFest 2018 — and I’d like to invite you! The conference teaches attendees how earn and maximize rewards points/miles for free travel and perks at hotels, airlines and casinos. Use the discount code zorkwheelchair to save $10 on standard registration or, if you’d like to spring for the VIP ticket (which includes dinner), use the discount code zorkwheelchairhighroller for $25 off! If you do purchase the “High Roller” VIP ticket using my code, the ZorkFest team will seat you at my dinner table. I’d love to meet you in Las Vegas, introduce you to some of my friends and help you learn about my points & miles hobby.
- Major accessibility upgrades coming to Canada’s VIA Rail trains — As part of a $54 million investment, 17 VIA Rail train cars will be rebuilt to include “two wheelchair lifts, two accessible spaces with anchoring devices, announcement screens (including in the bathrooms) and an accessible toilet.” Expected by 2020, the rebuilt trains will be spread across the VIA Rail network, making intercity rail services much more accessible in Canada.
- Cairo Airport renews commitment to services for disabled travelers — The airport in Cairo, Egypt is embracing the spirit of Egypt’s 2018 “Year of People with Special Needs,” unveiling new services for travelers with disabilities. Check-in counter number 355 will be reserved passengers with disability service needs, as will immigration lane number 14. The airport will now use golf carts to more quickly escort travelers with mobility disabilities through the terminals and to the boarding gate.
- UK government focuses on air travel accessibility — The British government is considering new regulations to protect air travelers with disabilities. Among the proposed measures are a time limit on how quickly wheelchair assistance should be provided to arriving passengers, space for disabled toilets and the possible removal of seats to make way for personal wheelchairs inside the aircraft cabin.
- Trial of new car rental service — Holiday Autos connects travelers with standard rental cars in the United States, Europe and more than 170 countries around the world.