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Great Minds: Accessible Tourism Information

While researching information for D-trekkers we have found many interesting blogs and services that we thought might be useful to you. So, once a month we will have a general round-up of some of the best stuff we’ve found, connected by a topic or theme.

Welcome, then, to our first Great Minds blog post.

As local and national travel information is our thing, it seems only fitting that tourism information would be our first general round-up. We know how daunting a bus or train trip can be to some, so a trip across the country or even across the continent may appear impossible. Like D-trekkers, the following organisations are working to help people get out and about.

Tourism for All

Tourism for All UK (TfA) provides information to disabled or older people on accessible accommodation and other tourism services in the UK and at selected overseas destinations. Every year they respond to thousands of people who may need help and support to enable them to take the break they may not have previously believed possible.

TfA is a national registered charity, and its information service is backed by a website, www.tourismforall.org.uk, and supported by a helpline, 0845 124 9971. The aim is to provide lively, inspirational and comprehensive information that encourages people to try new things, see new places, and live life to the full!

As well as accommodation, travel, and attractions, TfA provides information about activity holidays for disabled people; equipment hire; places where care is available; escorts & carer services; and sources of finance towards the cost of a holiday for people on low income.

Martyn Sibley and Disability Horizons

Martyn Sibley is the co-editor and co-founder of the online lifestyle magazine Disability Horizons. Despite being reliant on an electric wheelchair and 24/7 care, Sibley works with other disabled people to maximise their potential. Using the internet and his own experiences, he shows just what is possible through positive thoughts and actions.

Sibley’s articles showcase individual achievement in tough situations, illustrating both the rough and the smooth aspects of travelling as a disabled person. His video blog gives viewers first hand experience of being there with him. Sibley’s warm nature comes across strongly through these videos, making it feel like the advice of an old friend.

He is currently journeying across Europe in a specially adapted car. This venture will take him to ten European countries, including his grand-father’s birthplace Lithuania and help him assess how different countries respond to disability.

Sibley shares his experiences with his 20,000 strong online community through articles in his magazine Disability Horizons (http://disabilityhorizons.com/), his personal blog (http://martynsibley.com/) and on Twitter (@martynsibley).

Able2UK

Since being established in 2001, Able2UK (http://www.able2uk.com) has provided a disability-focused approach to reporting on news, show-business, music and sport.

The website also features a frequently-updated travel section, with updates on the provision for accessible travel here in the UK, as well as reports from those going on holiday outside of the country.

To date, the site has scooped interviews with a range of celebrities including Bono and Professor Stephen Hawking. Many of these interviews are being collected into a work-in-progress book. The organisation are also helping local and national authorities by advising on how they can improve their accessibility.

Writing about Able2UK’s beginnings, editor Howard Thorpe writes: ‘Able2UK isn’t just for people with disabilities, we wish to show everyone just because you have a disability you are still ‘able2’ do anything.’

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