We have looked at what you need to know when travelling pregnant or travelling with kids. There are other special needs people that travel. For instance, the elderly and disabled. So we have listed out what you should know about travelling with people with special needs.
1. Travelling with Physically Challenged People
Being physically challenged does not stop the disabled from travelling. Though their mobility may be seriously hampered, especially in Nigeria, where many businesses do not cater to their needs.
Below is a list of things to consider if you intend to travel with a disabled/physically challenged person:
Start planning early. Use agencies that specialize in the transportation of disabled or physically challenged persons.
Research on the rights of the disabled if there is a disability law in the country you are travelling to. Some countries have specific rules airlines should follow when transporting physically challenged persons. It is good you know these before embarking on a trip.
When selecting a hotel to stay in, find out if they have a ramp at the entrance, functional elevators, one-inch staircases that are easy to climb, etc.
Make sure their health and travel insurance adequately cover their constraints. It should have an evacuation plan for the disabled in case of an emergency. Don’t pay for health coverage that excludes cases for physically challenged persons.
Choose airlines with facilities that cater to the disabled like a wheelchair, handicap scooter, etc. Airlines like Dana Air, Emirates and Virgin Atlantic have such. If the ones in Nigeria for interstate transportation do not have such, contact the airline management to make special arrangements for your specific needs.
Inform those you are travelling with (relevant authorities) of your special needs so you can get assistance when you need it. For example, if you are boarding a flight, let a flight attendant know your challenge. This will enable them to decide if you need extra pillows or blankets or to move you to an aisle seat or close to the restroom on the flight. It will also make it easy for them to give you specific safety briefing for the physically challenged person who might not have been readily available to the public.
Look out for airlines, transport lines or hotels that have an excellent reputation for taking care of physically challenged people. You can check online reviews, watch out for what people say about their customer support services. This will help you choose a means of mobility that will be pleasant/pleasurable for any physically challenged person.
The disabled in Nigeria have it tough, but we believe things are changing. More state governments are making efforts to include plans for the ease of mobility of physically challenged people. We believe the more we emphasize providing an equitable environment for physically challenged persons, the more likely it will impact our transport sector with time.
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