Welcome back to Disabled Travelers!
As promised, today’s visit will continue our brand new series for visually impaired travelers and their travel companions.
There are plenty of resources out there for travelers who have low or no vision; we got a good start last time around.
Now we’ll introduce tour operators, blogs, service providers and more who are all ready and waiting to help you make your next vacation a memorable one.
Let’s start with Matilda Ziegler Magazine for the Blind. Now available in a handy blog format that responds pretty well to audio translation and other accessibility tools, this is one of the longest-standing publications in the U.S. providing news of interest to the blind. There are a lot of great articles relating to travel and independence in general, though don’t expect to find travelogues or tour endorsements. Visitors can enjoy hundreds of free, archived articles, including an extensive audio collection. Need some practical advice on travel? Try the Blindness Blog, specifically the entry on Blind Travel, which discusses a whole range of topics including “mental mapping” and cane travel.
If you’ve been a fan of Disabled Travelers for a while, you know that one of my oft-repeated suggestions is to check for a reputable tour operator when the destination is challenging or you just don’t feel like “going it alone.” I suggested a couple of good tour operators for vision-impaired travelers in my last post, but The Society for Accessible Travel and Hospitality has even more, including tour groups and travel agents for the blind. One of these, in my own neighborhood, is Outta Sight Travel, which has offered tours in New York City, Orlando, and the Grand Bahamas, as well as Caribbean cruises.
One of the greatest advocates for disabled travelers of any stripe is Peter Greenberg, the internationally known travel columnist who frequently writes for the AARP. Peter discusses several options for group travel in his 2009 article Vacations for the Blind, including Mind’s Eye Travel, another blindness-friendly tour operator. Hawaii, Venice, and Paris are just a few destinations Mind’s Eye has helped non-sighted and sighted travelers alike to reach. Peter’s endorsement is golden, so check them out. (There was also BlindTravel.com, but it seems not to have been updated in a while. Alas!)
No doubt about it: air travel is one of the most challenging parts of the journey for a blind or low-vision wanderer. Blind Travel Tips From a Frequent Flyer is a good place to start. And remember that, under federal guidelines including the Americans With Disabilities Act and Air Carrier Access Act, you are protected if accommodations aren’t made to make travel accessible to you. The National Federation for the Blind is suing United Airlines over failure to provide visual cues at check-in kiosks, for example.
That brings us to the end of today’s special Disabled Travelers, but blind-friendly travel is joining our regular rotation of features; no matter what your ability, you’re always welcome here at the Disabled Travelers blog. Hope to have you here again, same time next week, for more travel news and tips!