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Accessibility in Travel

What accessibility options are available to travelers?

The grueling winter will soon be behind us, and spring break is on the horizon. How can travelers ensure their needs are met?


In typical west coast fashion, it’s been pretty rainy lately; but having passed the winter solstice, the dark hours are now receding and the precipitation may follow suit. With that change in weather — in addition to the easing of pandemic travel restrictions — many of us are looking to venture out in the coming months. If you or someone you love have accessibility concerns, travel can seem like an especially daunting task. Luckily, there are multiple avenues to address your needs, if you know where to look.

Accessibility travel agents

With training in a variety of accessibility fields, an accessible travel agent may be what you’re looking for. These individuals will often offer services like air travel management, itinerary planning, and budgeting. They can also be invaluable in connecting travelers to accessibility services at their destination, ensuring that arrival and accommodations are adequate.

Look through the Canadian Travel Network for options. There are also independent agents such as Travel with Ange that are also worth looking into. And apps like AccessNow are tracking and sharing accessible travel destinations through crowd-sourcing, which can be a huge help.

Specialized agencies

For something more specifically geared toward your needs, there are more specialized organizations that build robust resource networks and travel destinations that are ideally suited to you.

For instance, Autism Travel has plenty of locations, agents, and guides for making a memorable vacation. Agents here have all undergone the Certified Autism Travel Professional training, offered through the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards.

Government resources

Sometimes, accessing government resources can be a hassle. Okay, most times. Okay, always. But! The good news is that the information you need to navigate the complex systems is provided to you, even if it can be tricky to discern. Take some time to look through the Canadian Transportation Agency’s accessibility content for information of legislation and regulations surrounding travel.


Finally, we wanted to include a non-exhaustive list of apps catered to accessibility needs:
1. Wheelmap: A helpful map software that can show you wheelchair-accessible locations such as hotels, restaurants, parks, or landmarks.
2. Be My Eyes: This app connects users with sighted volunteers and company representatives who then describe what can be seen with the user’s phone camera.
3. fuelService: This is a helpful way of finding accessible gas stations on your route to ensure you don’t run out of fuel while traveling – a useful tool if you are planning a long road trip.
4. Looktel Money Reader: The Money Reader recognizes currency and will speak aloud the nomination allowing you to easily check how much money you have, particularly important when you are exchanging money while abroad.
5. Medisafe: The demands of travel make it easy to forget things like taking medications. This app will help with regular alerts for when to take your medications, even if you’re changing timezones.