Modern technology and scientific developments have meant that having a disability doesn’t equate to exclusion from society. The resilience of those living with a disability is admirable and, their strength continues to astound.
Living with a disability can sometimes make life a little more complicated to navigate. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy life just the same. Often, stepping out of your comfort zone and into a new environment can be a daunting prospect, especially when travel is involved.
Here are some ways you can travel with ease with a disability to help dimmish your fears:
If you have your chosen destination in mind, research before you travel. Look at the company’s website and find their accessibility page. Doing this will show you how the destination has adapted its attraction to become more accessible for people living with a disability. If you struggle with mobility, it may even show you the best route around – making your day even easier.
What’s more, plan your journey ahead of time and travel with ease. Choose to travel on transportation that is disability-friendly. For example, Govia Thameslink Railway has trained almost 3,000 customer-facing colleagues from Southern, Thameslink, Great Northern and Gatwick Express in ways to improve the service they give disabled passengers on the railway. Knowing your transport has the facilities to accommodate your needs before you travel will give you peace of mind.
If your research has been inconclusive and you’re still unsure how to navigate your day out, contact the place you are going and the transport you are using. Often, your questions will get answered, giving you a clearer understanding of what to expect on the day.
When Govia Thameslink Railway trained their staff on disability inclusion, they said it helped them to look at a situation from the passenger’s perspective – giving them real empathy. With more companies looking into disability inclusion, disabled passengers can expect fair treatment when contacting such businesses.
Upon completion of his training, Ralph Lallau, 24, from Islington, found his accessibility training “eye opening” and has been putting it to good use with Great Northern, assisting passengers at Finsbury Park in London where many trains were terminating during recent engineering work.
He said: “The training was great. I didn’t know anybody who was disabled so, having a trainer who was themselves disabled, meant it was my first time looking at a situation from their perspective – it gave me real empathy. I take my cue from the customer; I never try to assume anything because only they know what they need.”
If you need any special equipment, medication, or mobility aids while you travel – be sure to pack them. Keeping these on your person will reassure you and help you feel safer whilst you travel.
If you are nervous to travel because you feel it might harm your health, consult your GP. Getting advice from your doctor will give you answers to any medical questions you may have. They can put your mind at rest and reassure you if necessary. Alternatively, they could advise you on any precautions you wish to take before you travel. So, you are fully prepared for a lovely trip away.