Questions about Disabled travel in the era of COVID-19

  • Questions about Disabled travel in the era of COVID-19

     Pavan updated 11 months, 1 week ago 5 Members · 21 Posts
  • 7beachbum

    Member
    October 3, 2020 at 10:54 pm

    Good morning (from the United States)! I’ve been asked by an editor to write an article about travel for disabled people in the midst of the pandemic. I was told this forum was a good place to ask others for information about the subject, so I’m here.

    The deadline is Friday, October 9, so I would like to receive information quickly. If you could provide references or any background information as well, that would be wonderful.

    Below are my questions:

    (1) Since the outbreak of the virus, what are the biggest challenges for disabled travelers that you’ve noticed?

    (2) Of course, people everywhere have been urged to practice social distancing. From what you’ve seen/experienced, is it easy for disabled travelers to practice social distancing (especially as many require assistance)?

    (3) In the era of COVID, have you seen places make additional accommodations for disabled travelers?

    (4) What do you think are the best ways (or most responsible manners) of assisting disabled travelers in the midst of the pandemic?

    (5) From your observations, do you think businesses are setting aside more financial resources to assist disabled travelers in the COVID-19 era?

    Even if you can’t answer all the questions, answers to even a couple of questions would be terrific. Thank you so much for your help!

    Sincerely,

    Rashaad Jorden

  • Josh Grisdale

    Member
    October 3, 2020 at 11:22 pm

    Hello Rashaad

    Here in Japan, international travel is non-existent. Japanese nationals have been able to return from foreign countries (if they were abroad when restrictions came into place) with isolation when they came back. However, until very recently, foreign nationals who had entry visas (including those who were already living here and paying rent) could not return if they left. So, foreign tourism is not happening any time soon.

    The government is trying to promote domestic travel with some campaigns that offer discounts on lodgings and vouchers to use at the destination to try and revive the economy.

    Even with that, travel isn’t such a big thing at the moment.

    I haven’t seen any changes or investments for accessibility in particular.

    Social distancing is very hard for those of us who need personal care – the very nature of personal care requires being very close to each other.

    The biggest impact on travel for those of us using personal care is getting carers to go out with us. Some agencies that provide carers don’t want us to go out at all and potentially expose the carer to Covid-19 as they would then take it to other clients (including those with more severe disabilities). Some agencies that are more user-focused (ie they respect the will of the person with the disability as a principle and don’t try to direct their activities) are more open to freely moving about, but do ask us to be responsible. Even though it is not a rule, it makes it awkward to go out, let alone go on vacation.

    So, I feel that accessible tourism may take longer to get going again.

    The positive side is that as virtual tours have become popular, it may be a way for those who have not been able to travel in the past to enjoy new forms of travel.

    Hope this helps!

    • 7beachbum

      Member
      October 6, 2020 at 6:36 am

      Thanks so much for your thorough response. I do have a question: How will the pandemic change the challenges for travelers and when travel returns to some level of normal?

      That’s something my editor wanted to know.

    • 7beachbum

      Member
      October 6, 2020 at 6:44 am

      I do have another question: Do you know of any virtual tours that have been conducted for disabled travelers?

  • TabiFolk

    Organizer
    October 3, 2020 at 11:28 pm
    • 7beachbum

      Member
      October 6, 2020 at 6:37 am

      Actually, that link may have already answered my questions.

    • 7beachbum

      Member
      October 11, 2020 at 5:42 am

      Good afternoon. I have a question: If possible, could you mind sending a COVID-19 related photo for the article (if you have one)? I need some photos for my article. If you don’t mind sending them, my e-mail address is rashaad.jorden@hotmail.fr

      For Skift, we use horizontal 1024 X 683.

      (I posted this question elsewhere in the forum)

  • Joan

    Member
    October 5, 2020 at 3:33 am

    The article posted by Josh is really insightful and there’s nothing much that I can think of to add. I would put emphasis on the fact that many people with disabilities are also more vulnerable to Covid, so it’s not just a matter of services being there, but of willingness of travelers to put themselves at risk. The article says it well, you have to balance pros and cons and being the cons huge (for instance, imagine getting sick abroad), I think that many people will stick to small road trips if doing any travel at all.

    Also, as already said, for people with disabilities it’s more difficult to keep social distance, be it due to accessibility barriers that may make you take a more crowded route instead of a free-will path, due to the need of assistance or due to visual impairments.

    Moreover, at the moment, as most business are going through lots of financial difficulties, I think that accessibility or service adaptations to people with disabilities is not among their priorities either. At least, if the business was not aimed specifically at customers with disabilities. I’d say that during the pandemics, service should be even more customizable as whether the customer is more at risk due to health conditions may have an effect in how the service should be performed. This level of customization feels really complicated (data protection issues, logistics, available resources, etc.). For instance, in my case, I’d be more at ease knowing that I won’t be getting any assistance for things that I can do myself, even with quite a lot of effort, as I prefer social distance over assistance, whereas before, I really appreciated that help. That being said, it means that I’d only be doing small trips that limit that extra burden. Nevertheless, also in my case, I don’t think I’ll be traveling until there’s a widespread effective vaccine or a treatment that significantly reduces the risk.

    Most probably, if the situation persists for a long time, maybe people will be more willing to travel and to accept the risk, but for the time being, I think that most people with be patient and cautious.

    • 7beachbum

      Member
      October 5, 2020 at 7:56 am

      Thank you so much for your thorough response!

    • 7beachbum

      Member
      October 5, 2020 at 10:41 pm

      If possible, could you PM me information about yourself – such as any important roles in the travel industry or important experience that makes you knowledgeable about the subject. If I quote you, I’d like to have some background.

      • Joan

        Member
        October 12, 2020 at 5:07 am

        Sorry for the late reply. I’ve just sent you an email. Best regards!

    • 7beachbum

      Member
      October 11, 2020 at 5:22 am

      Good afternoon. I have a question: If possible, could you mind sending a COVID-19 related photo for the article (if you have one)? I need some photos for my article. If you don’t mind sending them, my e-mail address is rashaad.jorden@hotmail.fr

      For Skift, we use horizontal 1024 X 683.

  • Josh Grisdale

    Member
    October 5, 2020 at 9:10 am

    @7beachbum when will the article be released, and for which publication? Please post a link!

    • 7beachbum

      Member
      October 5, 2020 at 9:51 pm

      I was contacted by the editor at Skift. I’ll start on my rough draft today (Monday). I’ll definitely let you know when it’s posted.

    • 7beachbum

      Member
      October 5, 2020 at 9:51 pm

      Actually, the article is supposed to be finished by Friday.

      • Josh Grisdale

        Member
        October 7, 2020 at 8:20 am

        Great, looking forward to reading it

  • TabiFolk

    Organizer
    October 15, 2020 at 3:12 pm

    Hello!

    Was the article published?

  • Pavan

    Member
    October 20, 2020 at 8:32 pm

    Hi guys
    I am new here. looking forward to Ideas, actually, I’m planning to entertain myself by planning my next trip.
    Something positive to look forward to… Is traveling to Dubai is safe now?

    TIA

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