Martyn Sibley is a wheelchair user who has traveled all across Europe. He was involved in a project with the Italian Multiple Sclerosis Charity called Europe Without Barriers. A group of participants from all over Europe went to 5 countries, 4 hotels, and multiple tourist attractions to evaluate Europe’s accessibility features. Martyn’s role in the project was to provide feedback from a wheelchair user’s perspective.
Transportation and Equipment
Martyn states that having a vehicle was beneficial for getting around Europe. His group also used a minibus for day trips, and his hoist was used when transporting.
Martyn gives a detailed review of the accessibility features of each hotel he stayed at during the project. For instance he states the I Girasoli was a ‘stunning’ property with ‘brilliant’ wheelchair accessibility.
“The hotels were broadly accessible for me...without a doubt they were great fun to visit.”
Martyn says that apart from the castles and the caves, all of the attractions they visited were wheelchair accessible. However, there were some areas that were in need of improvement.
“For me the largest need and improvement everywhere was with staff education, organisational procedures, and signage. This is partly for a wheelchair user's benefit (eg. entry points, ramps and toilets).”
Martyn lists some specific notes he took concerning each destination. For example, Siena was his favorite places to visit, but he recommends finding the accessible toilet before you get desperate.
“My biggest hope is that the occasional issues we faced are turned into positives, by creating change. Mostly having showed what is possible, I hope many more disabled people feel confident to travel.”
Check out Martyn’s post to get full details about the hotels and/or activities Europe has to offer!
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