Here is a round-up of the latest news in the world of accessible travel and disability, including a road construction crew that rolled around in a wheelchair, the Japanese Government set a new requirement for hotel accessibility, wheelchair users take to the streets for good and more.

Accessible travel news from around the web:

  • Bridge Crews Have ‘ADA Experience’ — The Missouri Department of Transportation recently hosted an ‘ADA Experience’ for construction workers, allowing them to gain insight on the challenges of rolling along sidewalks in a wheelchair. After the exercise, the team committed to ensuring that future sidewalk and road projects will be 100% ADA compliant.
  • Japan: New Hotels Must Have More Accessible Rooms — Japan is one of the most accessible countries in Asia, but many hotels lack a sufficient number of accessible guest rooms. In a new plan announced in advance of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, the government will require a minimum of one percent of all newly constructed hotel rooms to be adapted for people with disabilities. Given that nearly 20% of the world’s population has a disability, 1% is not enough, but it’s better than nothing.
  • Personal Story: Wheelchair User And His Dog — I love personal stories, and this one is the story of Willie Cooper, his wheelchair and his dog Ginger, who reside in the small town of Madison, Georgia. It’s nice to take a quick look into the life experiences of others.
Willie Cooper and his dog, Ginger.
Willie Cooper and his dog, Ginger. | Photo by the Morgan County Citizen.
  • Train Accessibility: Food Cart in Wheelchair Space & Luggage in Wheelchair Space — You’ve booked the wheelchair space on the train, turn up at the station, board the train, and find your space occupied by food trolleys or the bags of other passengers (pictured below). Read about the two separate experiences of wheelchair users Hollie Brooks and Becky Whitworth at the links above. Wheelchair spaces are for wheelchairs – nothing else!
Stack of bags blocks wheelchair space on train.
Stack of bags blocks wheelchair space on train. | Photo by Becky Whitworth/Twitter.
  • Edinburgh Airport Signs Deal for WheelAIR Cushions — For passengers traveling through Edinburgh Airport, there may be good news. The airport has purchased Wheelair cooling backrests which can be borrowed by wheelchair users during their time at the airport. While I’m not sure borrowing a special seatback cushion for an hour before your flight is necessary or will actually improve your travel experience, it’s now an option nonetheless.
  • Man takes 475-mile journey in wheelchair to support accessible trails — Wheelchair user Ian Mackay (pictured below) traveled in his power wheelchair from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho to his home in Agnew, Washington, to raise awareness for accessible trails in his home state. Averaging 36 miles per day, Mackay completed the journey in 13 days and crossed the Cascade Mountains. Advocacy rocks. Read more at the link above.
Ian Mackay surrounded by his supporters.
Ian Mackay surrounded by his supporters. | Photo by Rob Ollikainen/Peninsula Daily News.
  • Wheelchair user rolls 100 miles for kids with disabilities — Richard Propes, a double amputee with spina bifida, embarked on a 100-mile journey across the State of Indiana in his manual wheelchair to raise money for a scholarship program. He aimed to raise $5,000 for the scholarship, which supports students with physical disabilities entering Erskine-Green Training Institute, a project of The Arc of Indiana Foundation. Service above self – thank you for the example, Richard!

Check back every couple of weeks for the latest roundup of accessible travel news. Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter to stay in the know!


Feature image courtesy emissourian.com.

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