As the warm weather is here and summer approaches, you may be making some plans for outings and vacations. There are challenges that parents have planning for those experiences for their deafblind children that other families don’t experience. Having some helpful tips will help to negotiate those challenges easier.
Traveling by Air
Always be prepared! The IBVI website states that when traveling by air, following these suggestions will help to make the trip less stressful and more enjoyable.
- Contact the airline before your trip. The disability support desk can assist with setting up gate escorts from the curb to your gate. All travelers in your party should have the same travel pass so you don’t get separated in security.
- Know the layout of the airport. Where are the restaurants, restrooms, and baggage claim?
- Investigate if you need to change terminals if you have a connecting flight and how to get to those terminals. Plan extra time between connecting flights!
- Keep all information such as a letter from your doctor stating the disability and boarding passes easily accessible to you.
- If you are traveling with a guide/ support animal, make sure that the airport is notified of this before you go. Pack extra food, snacks, and water for both your family and the guide/support animal. It is suggested to use backpacks as carry-ons, so your hands are free.
- Easily tag or identify your bags that are checked so they are easily identifiable at baggage claim.
- Contact your airline and TSA website for any other information.
- Check local requirements of the cities you are visiting for vaccine documentation, mask, and Covid testing requirements.
- Share your itinerary with others.
Traveling by Bus or Train (AARP)
- Call customer service when purchasing your tickets, and click on disability assistance.
- Talk to the driver/conductor
- When taking the train, the departure is announced over the loudspeaker only a few minutes before the departure of the train be prepared for which track the train leaves and the time.
- Be aware of the stops so you can plan easily when it’s time to depart the train/bus.
Theme Parks and Other Locations
If you’re planning to visit theme parks, contact their disability services before you go to see what they will be able to accommodate.
For Large theme parks such as Disney, check out these links for accommodations:
Services for Guests with Vision Loss at Disney
Services for Guests with Hearing Loss at Disney
If you are staying local and visiting local parks and playgrounds:
Inclusive Play with Miracle Playgroup (a lot of these materials are available at Legacy Playground in Nashua, NH. You may find similar playgrounds near you.)
Have fun, be prepared and be flexible!