Accessibility Barriers: Paralyzed Veterans of America on Flying with a Disability

Paralyzed Veterans of America shared tips with us that disabled travelers can use to combat accessibility barriers on planes.

From unfriendly bathroom designs to poor handling of wheelchair equipment by airline staff, flying is riddled with accessibility barriers for travelers with mobility disabilities. While any mode of transport poses its own obstacles, air travel in particular is highlighted as a unique challenge by Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA). In a recent press release, the organization noted that many of the travel pains they see arise from poor flight experiences.

If traveling is in your job description, then there’s more on the table here than simply the ease of your journey. Road warriors with disabilities shouldn’t miss out on any opportunity to travel for business, an experience that can do wonders for professional growth, due to accessibility barriers when flying. Dedicated to helping people with mobility disabilities, PVA has offered some hacks for disabled travelers to use when flying.

Battling Accessibility Barriers in the Air

“For all travelers, the key is planning ahead, and if you have a disability, that’s even more crucial,” – David Zurfluh, National President of Paralyzed Veterans of America.

The first set of travel hacks shared by PVA centers around the importance of prior planning. From buying your tickets in advance to double-checking that the airline understands any special requirements you outlined, prepping now will avoid dilemma later on.Accessibility barriers, business travel life 1Next up, PVA suggests keeping the flight crew up to date on handling your equipment. Instructions and an owner’s manual will guide them in properly stowing your stuff. In addition to airline crew, reach out to TSA regarding the security process.

Accessibility barriers, business travel life 3What should you have in your carry-on? Medication and portable repair gear for your equipment, definitely. Additionally, PVA advises that you take anything you can from your wheelchair or other gear instead of having it stored by flight crew.

Accessibility barriers, business travel life 3At last, reporting issues is crucial for raising awareness of accessibility barriers when traveling. Pocketing those receipts and tags will be helpful if you need to lodge a complaint with the airline about mishandled equipment. Speaking of which, make sure you do alert airline staff ASAP of any problems, even if you’re in a hurry to make it to a meeting or conference.

Since PVA champions for legislation and airline policies that will protect the rights of travelers with disabilities, reaching out about your experience will also be helpful.

Accessibility barriers, business travel life 4Flying isn’t the only part of travel that can be a hassle for road warriors with a disability. What changes would you like to see in the travel industry for easing accessibility barriers? Share in the comments below!Accessibility barriers, business travel life, pinterest

Business Travel Life

Business Travel Life is an online resource supporting the road warrior lifestyle. We give business travelers the tools they need to maintain their wellness and productivity when traveling. The topics we cover include business travel tips, travel workouts, healthy travel hacks, travel products, general travel tips, and industry trends. Our goal is to make business travel a healthier experience – and to make healthy travel practices more accessible to all road warriors.

Mellisa Pascale
Mellisa Pascale

Mellisa is a writer and traveler. She’s studied in London, backpacked in Europe, and road-tripped around Iceland. Most recently, her travels took her to New Zealand, where she worked and volunteered while participating in the Working Holiday Visa program.

1 Comment
  1. Disable sometimes travel with companion who is not family, 2 beds would be nice.. No Barriers under bed for those who travel with a hoyer. 32 years together, we pretty much no most tricks to traveling. Thanks to the great Job the PVA does for its members and others!!!!

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