TravelinWheels was founded by Michell Haase after she experienced the inconvenience of traveling with a disability first hand. Due to the U.S. government’s new acessability guidelines, which will be implemented in March 2012, traveling with disabilities can now be made easier.

The guidelines state that hotels, airlines, attractions and entertainment venues must assist the disabled by adding in accessibility features.

Lodging accomodations must:

  • Allow people with disabilities to book reservations for accessible guest rooms during the same hours and in the same way as other guests
  • Point out accessible features with the sufficient amount of detail to allow those with disabilities to decide if the place will meet their needs
  • Guarantee reserved accessible guest rooms are actually available for disabled guests upon arrival

“According to the 2010 U.S. Census, more than 12 percent of the population over age five consists of non-institutionalized people with disabilities, including more than 14 million with hearing and sight issues and more than 19 million with mobility issues,” said Haase.

“This 12 percent of the population is virtually untapped by the tourism industry and the new laws being put into place will help make accessible tourism not just about the physical accommodations of a venue, but a mindset providing a positive travel experience for all, regardless of their disability.”

Hasse’s hope through the TravelinWheels website is to provide a source to determine whether a travel accommodation will be right for the individual.

Kristina at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami Photo by Sony Stark.

Through the website, travelers can learn accessibility details for travel destinations throughout the U.S. and Europe. This includes hotels, restaurants, tours, transportation options, medical needs, etc. TravelinWheels’ content, virtual tours, detailed accessibility information, tips, tricks, destination reviews and first-hand testimonials of experiences, those with a disability can efficiently evaluate their travel plans. The site also includes a list of travel agents that specialize in disability travel.

Read more about traveling with a disability at http://www.gonomad.com/features/1102/miami-wheelchair.html.

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