If you have a disability, travel can be a daunting experience. That’s not to say that people with disabilities don’t want to or can’t travel. The team over at UKS Mobility have designed the following infographic, which explores the levels of accessibility in travel. It takes a look at some key facts and statistics around accessibility and international travel, and analyses three popular tourist destinations – London, New York City, and Barcelona – to determine just how accessible their public transport systems really are.
In fact, in the USA in 2015, 26 million travelers with disabilities took a grand total of around 73 million trips and spent around $17.3 billion.
Instead, the problem is that disabled travelers face barriers to travel on every leg of the journey. From miscommunications at airports to poorly equipped accommodation and inaccessible tourist attractions, accessibility continues to be a major problem around the world. You can see examples of this wherever you look - New York may well be the city that never sleeps, but that’s not much use when only a quarter of the city’s subway stations are fully accessible for wheelchair users! And in the UK, as many as 70% of disabled travelers have struggled to find accessible rooms and hotels.
If people with disabilities are going to have an equal level of access to independent travel, it’s clear that destinations around the world desperately need to improve in terms of accessibility. This means a concentrated effort to provide facilities that accommodate everyone, no matter their disability status, age or level of mobility. As might be expected, for those with limited mobility that might mean providing adjustments including ramps, step-free access, spaces for wheelchair users on public transport, and lifts in multi-story buildings.
However, it’s also vital that we remember that just 8% of the disabled community uses a wheelchair and that there are a vast number of disabilities that might be less obvious, or totally invisible. For real inclusivity to happen there needs to be a variety of accessible facilities that make travel easier for anyone. For instance, this could include hearing induction loops for people who use hearing aids, or raised lettering on signs to make navigation easier for those with visual impairments.
Thanks to UKS Mobility for sharing this valuable information with AbleThrive! Be sure to share this post with others to help spread the facts about the importance of accessible traveling.