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Travel (Disabilities) « Disabilities – Other Issues

Travel disabilities


Resources, Articles and Information
About Travel for People with Disabilities

“My disability has opened my eyes to see my true abilities."  ≈ Robert M. Hensel


Government Resources:

Make sure you know your rights as a traveler with disabilities by reviewing the Air Carrier Access Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

  • Fly Rights: A Consumer Guide to Air Travel (US DOT)
    Provides air travelers with helpful advice on how to get the best airfare, what to expect when a flight is delayed or canceled and how to avoid travel scams. The guide provides easy-to-read information on federal airline regulations in a number of areas, including accommodating air travelers with disabilities and rules for bumping and baggage compensation.
  • New Horizons – Information for the Air Traveler with a Disability (US DOT)
    This guide is designed to offer travelers with disabilities a brief but authoritative source of information about the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) rule: the accommodations, facilities, and services that are required to be available. It also describes features required by other regulations designed to make air travel more accessible.
  • Non-Discrimination on the Basis of Disability in Air Travel
    Regulations from the Department of Transportation.
  • TSA Cares Help Line (Transportation Security Administration)
    TSA Cares is a helpline to assist travelers with disabilities and medical conditions. When a passenger with a disability or medical condition calls TSA Cares, a representative will provide assistance, either with information about screening that is relevant to the passenger’s specific disability or medical condition, or the passenger may be referred to disability experts at TSA.
  • Traveling With Disabilities (US Dept. of State Bureau of Consular Affairs)
    If you are a person with disabilities or are traveling with a person with disabilities, preparation before you begin your trip is essential to help you ensure that your travel will be accessible, safe and enjoyable. Think about your needs throughout your trip and conduct research in advance. Individual countries have their own standards of accessibility for travelers with disabilities. We recommend that travelers with disabilities review the information on, consider the following tips, and discuss the trip with your health care provider.

Travel Information for People with Disabilities

  • Accessible Air Travel Resource Center
    One way to help ensure the best possible experience when traveling by air is to know what resources and supports are in place to assist disabled passengers. Important information can be found on the websites of the individual airlines, which provide detailed information and instructions on matters such as seeking assistance in the airport, traveling with oxygen, and seating needs on the plane. 
  • Assistive Technology and Portable Tools for Exchange Participants with Disabilities (Mobility International USA)
    What assistive technology, adaptive software and portable tools do people with disabilities use to independently access information, activities and places in their daily lives? The following tipsheets share information by disability type and include portable or remote options for people with disabilities who travel internationally.
  • Major Overhaul of the Air Carrier Access Act Effective May 13, 2009 (Beirne, Maynard & Parsons)
    On May 13, 2009, the provisions of the reformed Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) will be effective, and commercial carriers (including foreign carriers) need to prepare to comply with its amendments.
  • Services for Travelers with Disabilities
    Delta Airlines' information on services including accessibility and assistance, wheelchair services, reservations requirements and special concerns.
  • Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality
    An educational nonprofit membership organization whose mission is to raise awareness of the needs of all travelers with disabilities, remove physical and attitudinal barriers to free access and expand travel opportunities in the United States and abroad. 
  • Travel Accessibility Resources for the Disabled and Handicapped
    While traveling with a disability can be challenging, it can also provide a host of physical and mental benefits. The article contains several resources and tips to assist disabled or handicapped individuals with traveling. 
  • Travel With A Disability: Easier Than Ever (Spina Bifida Association)
    With a little research, an assertive attitude and an adventurous spirit, backed up with knowledge of personal rights for the disabled, travel is becoming accessible to everyone.
  • Traveling with Disabilities
    A brochure outlining Delta Airlines' Disability Program's commitment to making the travel experience of customers with disabilities safe, convenient and accessible.
    A website dedicated to helping those with disabilities, aims to make travel easier for all of you traveling with someone who has special challenges.
  • What Airline Employees, Airline Contractors and Air Travelers with Disabilities Need to Know About Access to Air Travel
    A guide to the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) and its implementing regulations

Articles About Travel for People With Disabilities

  • Delta Fined for Violating Rules Protecting Air Travelers with Disabilities (US DOT – 2/17/11)
    The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today assessed a civil penalty of $2 million against Delta Air Lines for violating rules protecting air travelers with disabilities. This civil penalty is the largest penalty ever assessed against an airline by the Department of Transportation in a non-safety-related case. “Ensuring that passengers with disabilities receive fair treatment when they fly is a priority for the Department of Transportation,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.  “We take our aviation disability rules seriously and will continue to enforce them vigorously.”
  • Shame on US Airways (Planet of the Blind – 10/15/10)
    The airline industry has caused controversy over "too fat to fly" policies this year, but after US Airways booted a man last month for being "too disabled to fly," it might find a new debate brewing.  Johnnie Tuitel, a motivational speaker with cerebral palsy, says a US Airways gate agent escorted him off a flight from West Palm Beach to Kansas City because he was deemed "too disabled" to fly by himself.
  • Smoothing the Way (New York Times – 4/26/10)
    People with disabilities never have an easy time traveling, but a rash of recent improvements, including more wheelchair-accessible taxis and rental vehicles — and even Web sites for people with dexterity or vision problems — have made it easier. New regulations updating the Air Carrier Access Act, for instance, extend coverage to flights by foreign airlines originating or landing in the United States, or ticketed through American carriers.