Things to Consider When Traveling in a Wheel Chair

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Traveling in a Wheel Chair

People who live in a wheel chair know very well the difficulties of traveling in a world that isn’t always handicapped friendly.  For the able-bodied travelers, there are many things we can do make it easier for our fellow passengers. In order to be a global citizen and aware of other travelers, check out this list of ways you can help–or at least be aware.


Go to the head of the line

People with disabilities are allowed, through the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA), to board an airline first, exit first and have certain accommodations.

Traveling can be frustrating for everyone, especially with delayed flights, layovers, and other problems. However, it doesn’t help anyone, most of all you, if you get upset because someone who needs accommodations is allowed to go the front of the line. Hold the door, step aside, and smile.

Acknowledge People Traveling in a Wheelchair

One of the biggest frustrations reported by people with disabilities, is when people ask other people questions about them as if they aren’t there. This happens when they are traveling solo or with other people. At all times, address the person directly.

In addition, don’t project additional disabilities on them. For example, someone in a wheelchair is not necessary hard of hearing. Be sure you talk to them in a normal voice.  Also, don’t assume they have any less of an intellect or understanding of the world than you do.  They are equal, so be sure you are treating them that way.

It is very easy to be condescending by accident when you think you are being helpful.

Related: What it’s really like to fly as a wheelchair user

Don’t forget…

There are always risks with traveling. Set your mind at ease with an Emergency Medical Plan. In case of illness or injury, we bring you home. For less than the cost of one plane ticket, you and your family can be covered for a year. Corporate plans are also available.

Don’t have a plan?



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