Special Needs Travel
Welcome back to our weekly blog!
When I started TravelinWheels, experts told me that that I needed to be active on social media. Well, I've taken it to heart, trying to build a great following so that we have visitors when our site goes live in April. I "tweet" on Twitter, and post on Facebook. I've joined groups in LinkedIn. Keeping up with all the posts, comments, and tweet chatter can be exhausting. However, it has been totally worth it. As my post views and followers grow, so does my understanding of the many, many disability topics around the world!
The social media sites have been a fertile ground when researching new special needs travel accessible destinations. Having travelled much of the country and quite a bit of the world, I always thought that I knew quite a bit about many global accessible destinations. However, it is exhilarating to find out that what I have learned in the past is just the tip of a very big iceberg! Not only that, in my quest to find information about travel accessibility, I've become part of a much larger community of disabled travelers, bloggers, advocates, and organizations that share information of benefit to all.
I wanted to share with you some of fantastic resources that exist for the disabled community on Twitter. There are people out there every day building awareness, drawing attention to disability rights, building new accessible spaces, sharing health issues, and making technology accessible. It is truly humbling and exciting to be a part of this growing group of people who hit the keyboard every day to share information that benefits so many.
Nearly every disability organization is on Twitter. MS Society, Easter Seals, Spina Bifida, Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, and Autism Organizations post on a regular basis. There are also countless individuals and agencies that spend a lot of time researching and posting items of interest to the special needs community. Here are a few of the more than hundred people that I follow on a regular basis.
I enjoy The Reeve Foundation posts. They are dedicated to curing spinal cord injury through research and raise money to improve the quality of life for those with paralysis. They regularly post inspirational stories about people who live extraordinary lives, despite overcoming some incredible situations.
CRPDisabilities in Canada posts several articles of interest to the community about such topics as accessible housing, government services, disability awareness rallies, and stories of recovery. I am always amazed at the amount of posts CRPDisabilities posts on a daily basis. I don't think they ever sleep!
Rampracer is a quadriplegic blogger of "Wheelie Catholic" who posts stories highlighting disability rights and tips on handicap travel, among many other topics.
TrulyAccessible regularly highlights new improvements in travel for people with disabilities. She is also a travel agent that specializes in disabled travel.
CDC.gov regularly posts up-to-date, credible health and safety information from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
NCPAD, aka, The National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (NCPAD) is a resource center focused on physical activity and disability that strives to get everyone to be more active.
Gimpgirl focuses on the issues of women with disabilities; she hosts various support groups and "hang out" sessions.
Disability.gov posts daily on different topics of interest. Every day is a different topic. They look at technology, employment, education, transportation and many other areas of interest.
AAPD is the largest national nonprofit cross-disability member organization in the U.S. I enjoy many of their articles highlighting various disabled people around the U.S.
Brian M. Seaman in the U.K. has been helping to improve access and facilities for disabled and older people for more than 16 years. He is also affiliated with Tourism for All. He tweets about accessibility and tourism, among many other topics.
If you are not on Twitter, consider it. It may seem overwhelming, but filtering information is very easy. You can search on a key term like "disability" and get only those posts that apply to your term. Then, just follow those who talk about those things you are interested in. You can also build lists for your key term to separate different tweeters you follow based on different keywords. It helps weed through the many tweets that can come through in a day. However, if you have the time, read through the timeline of posts. You just never know what you will learn about! Have fun!