Traveling is always a bit of a hassle that requires special considerations and planning, but this is particularly true for those with disabilities. Thankfully, companies and services have become available in recent years to make exploring the world more accessible for travelers with a disability. One of those companies, Wheel the World, focuses on empowering those with mobility issues.
The site’s new accessibility mapping system (AMS) allows travelers with a disability to customize their own personal accessibility profiles. These are then matched with trips compatible with the individual’s needs in over 50 destinations, complete with places to stay, activities, and tours. Destinations with wheelchair accessibility, braille signage, adaptive equipment availability, bed heights, and transcription assistance, are also spotlighted. This information is crowdsourced from mappers who visit over 200 data points around the world and log the details in the app.
“Thanks to our volunteer mappers,” the company’s co-founder and COO, Camilo Navarro, said in a statement, “we have the most thorough and up-to-date accessibility information of any online travel site. Having this information so readily available is a game changer for travelers with disabilities. What might have taken them hours to research in the past, can now take just minutes.”
The site was started by a group of students at the University of California, Berkeley, who wanted to help a quadriplegic friend travel with them to Chile. They’ve since assisted thousands of travelers with a disability visit countries around the world.