For people with disabilities, air travel and car driving can be a difficult process. Airline accessibility for disabled passengers is not always easy to come by, and drivers with disabilities have difficulty using their cars as they are often designed without consideration of those who need special modifications. This post will discuss the difficulties faced in both areas while giving tips on how to make flying or driving more accessible, enjoyable and stress-free.
Accessibility in the air
The first and most important thing to know is that what you can do at home, in your car or on the ground doesn’t always translate over into the air. Airlines have complicated rules about what they allow for passengers with disabilities. There are some things people with mobility impairments may be able to bring onto a plane as their assistive devices, but not others. If you’re in a wheelchair, it’s hard to fly with your own chair because airlines are only required to provide aisle chairs on planes that have more than 60 seats. Airline staff will likely tell you they can’t let you bring things through security like crutches or walkers – even though these items may be classified as assistive devices.
There is a major difference between flying first class or business class versus economy, as well – the more expensive tickets give you extra space for your wheelchair or assistive device to be stored in an overhead compartment. You may also get priority boarding which will get you to your seat before other passengers.
Accessibility on land
Driving is difficult for people with disabilities because a lot of cars are not made accessible. To find out if your car can be modified to suit your needs, check online reviews or ask the vehicle adaptation dealers about what modifications they have available.
If you’re in a wheelchair and need assistance from staff, there will usually be someone stationed near the terminal who can help you find the parking garage and get your chair loaded on to the shuttle. It’s best if this person is notified when you make a reservation so they can be there to greet you in advance.
If you’re disabled and planning on driving, it’s important that your car has adaptive equipment like larger pedals or hand controls for steering wheels – these are things you can ask your dealer to install for you.
If it’s not possible, then there may be a company that rents a car with these modifications available and will deliver the rental vehicle right to your home or workplace. You’ll need some sort of disability insurance coverage before renting from this type of company, so make sure you research what’s available.
Tips for flying with a disability
If you’re flying with a disability, it’s best to speak directly with the airline. Look up their accessibility and customer service policies online or call them – they should have someone available for in-person assistance who can answer questions about wheelchair accessible flights and other accommodations that may be needed such as transfers from one terminal to another.
You’ll need to check in at the gate and let them know about any special accommodations you might need. This could include adding a note to your reservation, asking for wheelchair assistance or requesting an aisle seat with more leg room – if there’s no way around it, then just be prepared to provide some proof that you’re disabled such as a doctor’s letter or social security card.
Tips for driving with a disability
If you’re a disabled driver, there are some things to keep in mind when operating your vehicle. These tips will help make driving easier and safer.
– Keep the doors unlocked so someone can open them if needed. This may be necessary because of tight spaces or for emergency purposes such as an accident scene where other people need to enter the car.
– Make sure all of your mirrors are adjusted for you so it will be easier to see behind and around you when driving.
– Give yourself some extra space on either side by waiting a few seconds before pulling out or changing lanes in traffic, especially if there is a curb ahead that may cause an obstruction.
– When exiting a parking space, make sure to wait until traffic clears before pulling out. You will want to avoid the awkward moment of waiting for an opening in oncoming traffic or having someone pull up and block you from getting out.
– Always be mindful of your blind spots when driving: keep checking them with mirrors as well as looking over your shoulder.
– Slow down for turns, intersections and hills in order to lessen the chance of a collision or sliding off the road.
– Drive with two hands on the wheel at all times (not one hand), especially when going downhill because you will need to steer with both hands as well as brake if needed.