During the holidays I was fortunate enough to go traveling in the US, as a South African tourist and I was completely amazed at how most businesses are focused on ensuring that they are accessible to people with disabilities.
The trip started at the airports where full assistance was given to persons in wheelchairs with a porter ensuring that you are at the correct terminal at the right time. They even assisted with checking in.
From the airport, we were greeted by taxis that have now been replaced by vehicles that are more accessible for persons in wheelchairs and can host wheelchairs as well. Trains and buses had specific seats allocated for persons with disabilities as well. Most of the subways also had elevators, not only stairs, so to assist with accessibility.
As we started our traveling, we found that the majority of businesses had alternative entrances that are accessible to wheelchair users and in public spaces where ramps were steep, there were warnings as well.
We were amazed during our trip to see how the country had made a conscious decision to include persons with disabilities in everyday life. Yes, there were cases where improvements could be made but overall it really felt that persons with disabilities had become more of a priority and it made our trip even more spectacular.
3 thoughts on “Stars and Stripes, all so bright – a story of traveling with a disability”
Yeah, LOTS of improvement could and should be made with the subways in NY (which you took, based on a couple of pictures). Actually though, most of the subway stations in New York lack wheelchair access (80% of subway stations, in fact). It’s so bad that there’s a lawsuit against the transit agency with regards to the poor wheelchair access.
That being said, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which has certain mandates for wheelchair access, has definitely made a big difference. So much of the progress is thanks to ADA.
Thank you so much for the information. The person that wrote this, was a South African and stated that, compared to South Africa, NY seemed to put more effort in this. Yes, there are far more improvements that needs to be made but you do see an improvement in inclusion.
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