Contact the Amputee Coalition at 888/267-5669 or amputee-coalition.org 29 skiing, river rafting, horseback riding and mountaineering. But, as Karen notes, “not all excursions are accessible, so arrangements must be made far in advance.” That seems to be the theme for success during these travel challenges – preplan, preplan, preplan! And have a backup plan. Accommodating accommodations Ron Wilmers’ Web site connects people with accessible lodging – from campsites to plush hotels. He says, “If functional accessible lodging is not available, why go there? The word is ‘functional,’ not just accessible. A person may be able to get into an accessible room but if the room is not functional, then accessible has no meaning.” Providing room information is a major part of what Ron’s Web site offers – that includes photos, room measurements, a checklist and more. This takes some of the fear and frustration out of planning the trip. The Wilmers used to make a mock-up campsite in the yard to see potential challenges before packing. If camping is your thing, Candy has a suggestion: “I just stayed in a very accessible yurt (hut) in Ridgeway State Park in Ouray County, Colorado. It sleeps six but there’s also an accessible tent platform if you’d like to pitch your own tent.” She adds that there are a number of accessible trails and an accessible fishing pier in the park as well. Also good to know if you prefer a hotel to sleeping outdoors: pools and Jacuzzis at hotels rooms are now required to have lifts and U.S. hotels are required to reserve accessible rooms, according to Candy. Karen shares her tips: “We select lodging based on proximity to our destination so we can take frequent breaks. We identify accessible restaurants before our visit. We also explain to hotel and park staff our exact expectations – we don’t expect them to read our minds!” Getting there You’ve got your room and your vacation planned, but getting there can present a challenge as well. As Candy shares, “Accessible transportation has certainly improved over the past 20 years. Years ago the only accessible airport transportation available for my friend was an ambulance! Super Shuttle now offers accessible airport transfers and many local transportation companies are following suit. I’m hopeful we will see more inclusive taxi fleets across America in the future; New York City seems to be on a good track for that.” It may be a little extra work, but with preplanning, backup plans and a positive outlook, summer vacation can be fun in the sun. “For success during these travel challenges – preplan, preplan, preplan! And have a backup plan.
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