Here is a round-up of the latest news in the world of accessible travel and disability — stories that can inspire your future travels, inform you of the latest in accessible innovation, and shine a light on the work still needed to create a truly accessible world.

Accessible Travel News from Around the Web

  • Birthright Israel Makes Trips Accessible to Disabled Jews — Taglit-Birthright Israel is a non-profit that sponsors free ten-day heritage trips to Israel, Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights for young adults of Jewish heritage. The organization believes these trips should be open to everyone, including people with disabilities, and this article from The Jerusalem Post looks at how the organization is laying out the welcome mat for disabled Jews. Birthright an incredible program that several of my friends have participated in, and I’m happy to see their efforts to promote equal access and inclusion for people with disabilities.
Large glass windows at end of airport passenger terminal.
  • Phoenix Airport Wins Award for Accessibility Improvements — Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport was recognized at IDC Government Insight’s sixth annual Smart Cities North America Awards (SCNAA) in the category of Digital Equity and Accessibility. The airport has recently debuted some new features to promote accessibility for blind travelers, including free use of the Aira mobile application and sighted guide service at the airport.
  • Wheelchair User Crashes Into Glass Door on Singapore Subway — I will admit, I’ve driven my wheelchair straight into a glass door that I didn’t see before. Embarrassing though it was, no harm was caused other than to my ego. The same wasn’t true for a wheelchair user in Singapore who, while rushing to catch a train, smashed a glass door in the subway station. Pictures and more at the link — and remember, drive with caution!
Turnstiles at New York City subway station.
  • Approved: Agreement to Make 95% of NYC Subway Stations ADA Compliant — A federal judge in Manhattan has approved an agreement forged between disability rights advocates and the MTA that will see increased investment in accessibility improvements to the New York City subway system. The government has agreed to make 95% of stations accessible by 2055, with many improvements coming in the next decade. It’s a costly endeavor, but the lack of full accessibility causes significant harm for disabled residents, whose stories are included in this article from The City.
  • Swiss Hotel a Model for Disability-Inclusive Hiring — This article in Skift highlights the  Martigny Boutique-Hotel in the Valais region of Switzerland, where 40 of 70 team members have an intellectual disability. Mathias Munoz, the hotel’s director, told Skift “I think everybody can work, and everybody is able to work — at the right work.” He added, “It’s a good thing for everyone. For the intellectually disabled team members, for customers, and for all of us.” Disability inclusion is important at all levels of an organization, from top to bottom. It’s great to see this example of a business well on its way to achieving that vision.

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Spot an article that should be included in a future round-up? Drop the link in the comments below!

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