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Holidays for Disabled People - A Guide

 

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A guide to holidays and tourism for disabled people. For those
with mobility problems, learning and physical disability or mental illness.


see also: Disabled Travel and Holidays - Useful Links

Access

The question of access is a key factor. You may want to feel confident about access to the accommodation, to the attractions you want to see and leisure facilities you wish to use before thinking about anything else. Or you might put, type, destination and price of holiday first, and then look at the issue of price.

Should you opt for group holidays tailored for disabled people? These can save you the time and trouble of organising things for yourself. You are actually guaranteed access and assistance. But you might get less choice. And you might not always want to be with a group of disabled people. You can find more information in the English Touring Board’s leaflet The National Accessible Scheme, and the Welsh Tourist board’s leaflet Discovering Accessible Wales.

Links for above:
http://www.visitengland.org/busdev/bussupport/access/
http://www.visitwales.co.uk/about-wales-guide-to-wales-culture-people-and-language/accessible-wales/

Before deciding you need to have as much relevant, up-to-date information as possible. Tourist attractions which subscribe to the English Tourist Board’s National Code of Practice for Visitor Attractions (The Visitor’s Charter) will have considered the requirements of disabled people with special needs and made suitable provision where it applies.

Link
http://www.visitengland.org/busdev/accreditation/attractions/codeofpractice/

In Scotland attractions which are accessible or have some accessible facilities (eg. Car parking, toilets, eating places, shops, on-site transport) may display one of three wheelchair symbols. These correspond to the three categories of accessibility (see below).

Accessible public toilets

Access to the 9,000 locked toilets around the country is available via the Radar National Key Scheme key offers disabled people independent and accessible toilet facilities. Providers of disabled toilets fit Radar locks to ensure their facilities are in good condition. Over 25 years the scheme has been adopted by 400+ local authorities and many transport, retail and leisure providers.

Rail travel with a disability

If you have special needs when traveling by rail visit the National Rail Enquiries for information for disabled passengers

Information on accessibility travel in Ireland can be found at http://www.discoverireland.com/


Tourism for All

This service is the UK’s central source of travel and holiday information for people with physical, sensory and learning disabilities, older people, carers, one parent families and those on low income. The computerised database holds information on all aspects of holidays and travel in this country and overseas.
Web: http://www.tourismforall.org.uk/
Information - Tel: 0845 124 9971
Minicom: 0845 124 9976
E-mail: info@tourismforall.org.uk
Fax: 0845 124 9972

Membership/Reservations - Tel: 0845 124 9973
Friends/ E-mail: info@tourismforall.org.uk
Reservations Fax: 0845 124 9972

Access Advice/ - Tel: 0845 124 9974
Consultancy/ E-mail: brian@tourismforall.org.uk
Inspections Fax: 0845 124 9972

7A Pixel Mill
44 Appleby Road
Kendal
Cumbria
LA9 6ES

National Accessible Standard

There is a National Accessible Standard for tourist accommodation denoting three categories of accessibility:

Category 1 accommodation likely to meet the needs of all wheelchair users, including those travelling independently;

Category 2 accommodation likely to meet the needs of wheelchair users accompanied by a capable helper;

Category 3 accommodation likely to meet the needs of those who can walk short distances and climb at least three steps. May not be suitable for wheelchair users.

Tourist Boards

The British Isles

The national and regional tourist boards all publish lists of accommodation which are graded using the Nation’ information on accommodation is handled by Holiday Care Service 01293 771500

The English Tourist Board
http://www.enjoyengland.com/

Northern Ireland Tourist Board
http://www.nitb.com/

Scotland
Visit Scotland
http://www.visitscotland.com/
North Highlands
http://www.northhighlandsscotland.com/
The Borders
http://www.borderstouristboard.com/

Cornwall Disabled Association
Providing accessible holidays and days out
Coaches – a 48-seater and an 18-seater both with wheelchair lifts
Caravans – at Par Sands Holiday Park and at Monkey Tree Holiday Park, both purpose-built for wheelchair use. Holidays – to hotels which are truly suitable for the disabled, travelling on their large coach.
Visit their website at http://www.cornwalldisabled.co.uk/

Wales
Visit Wales
http://www.visitwales.com/

Visit Cumbria
http://www.visitcumbria.com/
Visit the Lake District
http://www.golakes.co.uk/

Visit the East of England
http://www.visiteastofengland.com/

Heart of England Tourist Board - this resource has closed

Visit London
http://www.visitlondon.com/

The Tourist Information Centres - London
http://www.britainexpress.com/TIC/London.htm

Visit North East England
http://www.visitnortheastengland.com/

Visit North West England
http://www.visitenglandsnorthwest.com/

Visit South East England
http://www.visitsoutheastengland.com/

Places of Interest for Disabled People

Southern England
http://www.touristnetuk.com/so/

Yorkshire
http://www.yorkshire.com/

ACCESS PROJECT (PHSP)
P
ublish well researched access guidebooks to London, Paris and Israel/Palestine
http://www.accessproject-phsp.org

 

Holidays Abroad

You can obtain information about facilities and access for disabled visitors and tourists available through some national tourists boards. You can obtain information at their offices in the UK. Offices are listed in the London phone book or alternatively you can obtain them through Directory Enquiries if you live outside of London. You can find information regarding travel to Paris and the surrounding hotels and areas online from travel and accommodation websites. Consider visiting Paris for a city Holiday that is sure to have appropriate accommodations on tourist attractions and hotels alike

Other Sources of Information:


The Central Bureau forms part of the British Council and provides advice on all forms of educational visits and exchanges. It also publishes a range of guidebooks on volunteer work, working holidays, home stays and exchanges for people of all abilities.
http://www.britishcouncil.org/

English Heritage produces a Guide for Visitors with Disabilities with details of access and facilities at properties. Available free of charge in standard, large print, Braille, and cassette versions from: English Heritage,
http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/

Mencap’s holiday service provides advice and information on aspects of holidays, organises holidays for children and adults at home and abroad, and publishes the Mencap Holiday Accommodation Guide .
http://www.Mencap.org.uk/

The National Trust publishes a free booklet - Information for Visitors with Disabilities - containing details of their properties in England, Wales and Northern Ireland with access and other facilities for disabled visitors. It includes a list of sites where blind or disabled people can enjoy historic objects through touch. Free with self-addressed label and 2nd class stamp from The National Trust, 36, Queen Anne’s Gate, London SW1H 9AS or phone: 0207 447 6743 (large print version available; sections can be Braillied on request). Necessary carers with disabled people are admitted free to NT properties.
http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/main/

Passport Agency has produced a guide - Applying for a Passport: A Guide for Customers with Disabilities - which explains the facilities for customers who are deaf and hard of hearing, blind and partially sighted, and those who use wheelchairs. https://www.gov.uk/passport-services-disabled

The Youth Hostel Association welcomes people with disabilities and has a number of hostels accessible to wheelchair users. http://www.yha.org.uk/

Help with holidays and respite care Social services departments may assist disabled people with the cost of a holiday and may provide transport and facilities. Your social worker may also apply on behalf of families with children to the Family Holiday Association for holiday funding
http://www.fhaonline.org.uk/

Handicapped Aid Trust contributes to the cost of helpers of severely disabled people over the age of 17 who would otherwise not be able to afford to go on holiday abroad.
North Chapel House
North Street
Horsham West
Sussex RH12 1RD
Tel: 0800 028 0647
 
Useful Websites 

Access Travel Holidays for disabled persons www.access-travel.co.uk
Accommodation and Airlines Listing www.everybody.co.uk
Caravanning4u http://www.caravanning4u.co.uk
Wheelchair Travel www.wheelchair-travel.co.uk
Mobility Abroad http://www.mobilityabroad.co.uk

Orange Badge - Holiday Help in Tenerife: This company hires, sells and services electric scooters and chairs, manual wheelchairs and various disability aids.
http://www.orangebadge.com/
Tele / Fax 00 34 922 79 73 55 Email: info@orangebadge.com

Vitalise is a national charity providing short breaks (respite care) and other services for people with physical disabilities, visually impaired people, and carers.
http://www.vitalise.org.uk/

Leisure

If you want to enjoy what’s in your local area, many local editions of the phone book have a section at the beginning called ‘Arts Access’. It lists Cinemas, Theatres, Natural History attractions, Exhibitions, Museums and Galleries, Sports and Leisure Venues and Assistance Organisations, keyed in according to: entrance accessibility, special WC, induction lop/ infra red, wheelchair accessibility and loan, lift and hoist (at pool), lift, accessible bar/ restaurant, help available, disabled parking, wheelchair spaces. For other places telephone in advance.

Special interests

It is worth contacting your local authority social services department or leisure department to see what activities they provide. Many council swimming pools and sports centres have facilities and instruction for disabled people. Your library may have a list of special groups locallyTo develop or follow-up particular interests or sports, there is a wide variety of groups dedicated to disabled people, many with active local branches. They cover the spectrum from angling to yoga. There are many Art, sport and leisure organisations and interest groups dedicated to disabled people..

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