Thursday, July 5, 2012

No Vacation Here

I saw a story on TV yesterday morning about Cumberland Island off the coast of Georgia. Also known informally as Carnegie Island due to the fact that the Carnegie family owns a good portion of the island and has several mansions there, Cumberland Island is a barrier island facing the Atlantic Ocean.

The only way to get to the island is by ferry or private watercraft. And once there, you will find no cars or other motor vehicles, just bicycles and people walking. And from the pictures on TV, it appears as if none of the roads or paths are paved.

It appears to be a beautiful, serene and interesting place - exactly the kind of place I would love to vacation with my children. But we probably can't. Island which allow no vehicles and have no paved roads are not very wheelchair friendly. It's a shame because I would truly love to visit.

Whenever we plan a trip or vacation, ensuring everything is wheelchair accessible is at the top of my list. Also on the list are things like proximity to hospitals and doctors, pharmacies, and appropriate transportation.

We've been able to find places to vacation, but we've also found places that we can't go, places I really wish my children could see.

What about you - do you know of vacation locations that are disability friendly - places where children with complex medical needs are welcomed - towns or resorts that have truly committed to access for all?

This summer we are planning a trip to Hershey PA. I'm sure the Hershey Park will be accessible, but I would also love to visit the Amish Country. I don't know what to expect there, but am thinking it might not be too accessible. Have you visited there and found it to be accessible and welcoming?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I actually was just in Amish Country (near Strasburg and Bird-in-Hand, PA). I don't have any family members in wheelchairs, so I wasn't paying particular attention, but I do think it would be an accessible destination. There are horse & buggies all over, but the roads are paved. There is a railroad museum in Strasburg. You can take a historic railroad ride on the Strasburg Rail Road (I just checked their site and it says, "Handicap Access: Available. Strasburg Rail Road can accommodate handicapped persons, but we have some restrictions. Please call in advance to discuss your needs.") There are many big, smorgasbord type restaurants that serve Amish food, and I did see wheelchairs in those. I think it would be a great destination. There are just so many things to do. One thing that would be difficult I think would be a horse & buggy ride, but maybe they have one that is accessible.