This Website Helps Make Travel More Accessible for People with Disabilities

published Jul 26, 2021
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While many public spaces are far from being truly accessible and supportive to the needs of people with disabilities, one website is helping to relieve as many travel stresses as possible for those who want to see the world safely.

Wheel the World is an inclusive online booking platform that aims to make the travel more accessible, and the company just launched a slew of tools to help connect disabled travelers to the accommodations they need when they’re on the go. Offering hotel recommendations, tours, and multi-day experiences in more than 50 destinations, the startup has recently revamped its website to offer a better experience and provide more content to users, including new accessibility needs profiles that allow for customizable, personalized recommendations based on the user’s individual needs and preferences.

The new “accessibility mapping system” uses crowd-sourced data to provide info on hotels and locations that have been vetted by visitors with disabilities directly, making it easier for potential travelers to find spots that are easier for them to navigate.

Building a profile on the site is easy, asking questions about bed height preference, ability to handle steps, bathroom and shower needs, transportation requirements/preferences, and more, with the ability to select itineraries based on your mobility needs, so it won’t suggest destinations or tours that are inconvenient or impossible to navigate. They will also contact hotels and tour operators to confirm specific accessibility needs.

With extremely detailed information such as door width and building entry specifics, wheelchair and adaptive equipment availability, braille signage, and ability of staffers to assist, the platform makes traveling much less stressful whether you’re looking to enjoy a book on the beach in Maui or hike through the hills of Machu Picchu.

Utilizing the site is free and they also offer a live-chat session with a team of experts for those who need assistance on the go.

Wheel the World cofounders Alvaro Silberstein (who was left paralyzed after a car accident on a trip to Santiago) and Camilo Navarro told CNN Travel in 2019 that “accessible does not mean inclusive,” adding, “There are one billion people [in the world] with disabilities. But there’s not one main travel company dedicated to these users.”