Introduce Yourself!


#1

Hi there!

We’re so glad you’re here! This topic is for introducing yourself to the community.

Here, I’ll break the ice. :wink:

My name is Daniel Keebler. :wave: I work at accessibleGO.

I love traveling, especially getting upclose with nature.

My wife has some mobility challenges, but it doesn’t stop us from finding new adventures as a family. Here we are fishing in New York.

keebler-family-fishing2


Now it’s your turn!

Go ahead and introduce yourself to the community.

Just press the “Reply” button under this post. :arrow_lower_right:


Disabilities that can’t be seen
#5

Good Morning, We are Gary and Mary Grinwis. 12+ years ago Mary went for walk and didn’t come home. She was found along the road with seizures due to a brain bled. Bottom line, after 90 days in ICU and 60 days in rehab, we came home to our new normal. One year later, we were in Disney learning where the family restrooms were and what transportation was available for a person in a wheelchair. Since then, we have traveled extensively mainly by car. We have learned that there are huge differences in what hotels call handicapped accessible. Our best advice is to not trust what the reservation sites say and call to confirm the accommodations and then have them send you an email. Best wishes with your travels.


#6

Hi Gary and Mary! Welcome to the travel forum and thank you so much for your inspiring introduction.

We’re so happy to have you here. I hope you can share your valuable hotel accessibility knowledge with others as we open the forum up over the coming days.


#7

This type of site is long over due. It would our hope to share our experience with others as well as learning from others. Our travel is more rural type locations
such as Vermont, Maine, National Parks such as Mount Rushmore, Devil’s Tower, Acadia and our most recent two week adventure in the Upper Pennisula of Michigan. One thing we have learned is that the fully handicapped rooms are booked months ahead. We plan but not 6 to 8 months in advance. So, we are so happy to participate in this type of forum for other’s experiences.


#8

That’s fantastic, Gary.

As you’ll see once we open up the forum to more of the community, we have a lot of accessibleGO members in rural areas, but also a lot of members in cities. It’s a nice mix.

If you ever want to write about your travel experiences in a more formal setting, we’d love to have you or your wife write a blog post in the community blogs.

For example, someone recently sent in her personal experience on an accessible safari in Africa. More than one person has already asked for details about such safaris now! So you never know the impact you can have.

Another member did a short blog post about her experience at a winery in Ontario, California. We will be publishing that soon too.


#9

My name is Betsy. My boyfriend suffered from both polio & a stroke. His permanently in a wheelchair. I found this sight in hopes of finding ways that he could travel comfortably. Look forward to learning more.


#10

Hi Betsy.

That is really thoughtful of you to seek ways for your boyfriend to travel more comfortably. While the world at large tends to focus on “technology” and “innovation” as promoting progress on the planet, I personally think it’s the big hearts of individuals, couples, and families that make the world a better place. Kudos to you! :trophy:

Here are some initial ideas that might make traveling more comfortable for your boyfriend and you:

  • Roadtrips. Many wheelchair users prefer the convenience of road trips instead of air travel. Something to think about. Here’s an accessibleGO Guide to Out of State Disability Parking Permits (we’ll be updating it again in 2019).

  • Rent Mobility Devices. If you do want to fly, you might consider renting from a national mobility device company at your destination city instead of trying to bring his chair with you. Our travel resources page gives you a list of rental equipment companies in the 30 most visited U.S. cities.

  • Keep discovering. As with any disability, trying new ideas and approaches over time will help you guys come up with your own list of “What works for us” and “What doesn’t work for us.”

  • Ask the community. You’re now connected with a community of travelers, many of whom are very experienced with accessible travel. Go ahead and ask your questions in the forum!

Wishing you safe and memorable travels together.


#11

Hello there! I’m Bibi from Toronto Canada. Thank you for creating this forum Daniel! I have been mobility challenged for the past 9 years and while I love to travel, the frequency of it has diminished over the past couple of years due to my mobility issues. Any tips or advice that is shared on this forum is so very welcome! I am hoping that I will learn the nuances of accessible travel so I can get back to enjoying it and doing it more often. Looking forward to reading others’ posts and hopefully, being able to share some tips as well. :sunglasses:


#12

Hey Bibi!

You’re welcome. :smiley: @miriam @jschlanger and I built accessibleGO and now the travel forum - but it’s you and the community here that make it come to life. So thank you for being here!

  • If you’re looking for local… Niagra Falls is only 1 - 2 hours away from Toronto. Have you been there?
    Here’s a link with some disability access info for Niagra Falls in Canada.
    https://www.niagarafallstourism.com/plan/accessibility/

  • If you’re able to go for a long trip, Whistler in B.C. has an incredible, year-round Adaptive Sports program called Whistler Adaptive. Whistler hosted the Paralympics a few years ago, so they’ve made areas of Whistler very accomodating.
    We’ve got an article in our community blogs on Whistler here: “Bust Activity Barriers in Accessible Whistler, B.C., Canada”


#13

Hello, my name is Crystal Fretz. I have several disabilities as well as my two daughters. We’ve faced many brain surgeries and many challenges in life. You wouldn’t know we were disabled looking at us unless we had my daughters wheelchair with us, that she uses part time or if I have my cane with me. We love to travel because of life’s difficulties, and facing death more than I care to think about, we chose to embrace life and live, but this comes with challenges. We are so grateful for a site like this! This photo is of me with my daughters in Ireland last Summer.


#14

Hi, my name is Kessa. I have Multiple Sclerosis and Syringomyelia. I use a cane everyday and sometimes use a walker or wheelchair, especially when travelling by air. I love to travel and have been on over 30+ cruises on various cruise lines. I am travelling to Europe for the first time next year, but I love all travel; from day trips to 21 day adventures. I live in Florida which makes for great weather and year round travel discoveries. I’m happy to have found this group to share what I’ve found while travelling with disabilities.
Here’s a photo of me and my wife, the BEST travel buddy ever.


#15

My name is Maureen. I was diagnosed with ALS November of 2017. I have been able to travel to San Antonio Texas, and Hawaii since being diagnosed. First thing I did was get a very
small motorized wheelchair that comes apart ( into four pieces) so we can put it into a car. That way I can take cabs, or shuttles with no problem. This really enables me to go on airplanes. I roll right up to the gates and my chair is waiting for me at destination. Hotel Emma (very expensive) in San Antonio was the best! They were so good to me. I could ride in my chair from hotel to downtown all along the Riverwalk! Was beautiful. Hawaii was totally handicapped accessible. That’s it for now.


#16

Greetings, My name is Jill. My husband had a stroke 5 years ago that left him unable to do nearly everything he used to do…except we can travel…as long as I drive.

I have not even considered flying with him. I am not that brave or patient. We traveled to about 17 states and 4 provinces in 2018, 26 states and 4 provinces in 2017 and an equal amount planned for 2019. I believe travel is his speech therapy. We find many frustrating things as to accessibility but I use the challenges to get his brain thinking about conquering them. Sometimes that works and other time not as well. I hope to learn from this group where there are some great places in the USA to see. I like places where my husband can walk using a handrail. Bryce Canyon was great for that!! Look forward to learning about your adventures; the good, bad, and the ugly!


#17

Hi I’m Mary. I live in Las Vegas NV. Recently widowed. Was married 6 wks when my husband passed. I haven’t done much traveling. But want to.


#18

Hey everyone,

My name is Lindsay My disabled is CP and I am restricted to a wheelchair.

I have been traveling all my life however I deceased my air travel in my adulthood. Mainly because airlines would almost always cause damage to my chair. My husband and I usual drive to our destination, but recently we have been flying. I have been impressed with the improvements the airlines have made. So far!

I am glad this website and community was created! This could be a wonderful resource that was long overdue.


#19

Hello! I’m Ashby Currie. Single. 68. Retired Social Worker. I’ve had a back deformity since I was 12, and dealt with it really well until I turned about 65. I use a cane which let’s me walk maybe a block before I have to stop and sit for a while. I used to travel all the time, and I miss it so much! I can’t wait to learn how I can do what I used to do in a modified manner. Thanks!


#20

Hi everyone! My name is Sharon, and I survived an acute stroke March 25, 2018. The stroke affected my left side, with 100% paralysis of my left arm, and about 85% of the leg. I’ve regain about 85 to 90% usage of my leg and about 60% of the arm and hand. I use a cane for walking, but, require a scooter for distances. Don’t have enough endurance for long walks yet. I got the ok to travel from my nuerologist a couple of months ago, and flew up to NJ last month, and just got off a cruise this past Sat. Feels great to travel again!


#21

Hi Guys,

I’m Hilton and my wife is Jeanne and I have some problems with my legs. I started having back surgeries in '11 and we’re up to lucky #7. They did a myelogram today to see if they can find out what’s wrong with my left leg since the second to last surgery in July '17. They found another pinched nerve and another surgery this past July. Now there’s a screw loose and we’re thinking still a pinched nerve since there’s still numbness and lots of atrophy in the left calf and thigh. Wednesday I get the results. I’m not a happy camper but I can still walk with my walker and only short distances.

We moved to San Antonio about 19 years ago thinking it would only be temporary at the suggestion of Jeanne’s work. We’re still here and it’s not our favorite place to be, so we travel, a lot. Our last big trip was to Baltimore, Hagerstown, Martinsburg, and Winchester. We hadn’t been to the east in about 8 years. It was so nice to have a real crab cake again!

We play a game called Munzee. You go around the country capturing QR codes. Here in Texas, Florida and California they have what’s called historical munzees. Those are our favorite type to capture. They teach you a history lesson with each capture. We have over 1,500 historical captures. It’s a fun little game that I am still able to play. We used to geocache but it’s too hard for me to walk the trails anymore.

Jeanne is able to retire but right now she’s working for insurance. My last two surgeries cost us nothing. Between her insurance and my insurance it cost nothing and it’s great. She will never make as much money as they have paid for me to have surgeries.

OH! Yesterday I was able to go motorcycle riding for the first time in forever! They were little electric mini bikes with very wide bases and fat tires. Very easy to ride and I only had to use my right leg to hold it up. It was so VERY COOL! If you’re ever in the San Antonio area and can use one leg and two arms I highly recommend it! It was called Your Biker Gang. It was a two and a half hour, 8.1 mile tour of San Antonio. Again, it was so nice to be on a bike again. You all would be surprised I even tried with all the metal in my back and neck. We just had so much fun!!! The picture is all of us in the group yesterday on the tour.

So group, that’s our story. So happy to be here and to be able to share.


#22

I totally agree. Great site, long over due. Totally brilliant! This site might shape into my favorite of all time. Thanks for being here.


#23

Hi, my name is Alchemy and I am a Potionmaker Extraordinaire! I have been studying herbalism for over 25 years. I call myself a potionmaker specifically because I travel so much and the laws in every state are different.
I am really, basically, a bit of a gypsy… I have taken time off from traveling for extended periods of time, especially when my 5 kids where young, but always come back to it. I just love being on the go. I have been to every part of the USA. I have traveled from one coast clear to the other and back again over ten times. I have been numerous times to our two neighboring countries - Canada, and Mexico. I have also traveled the UK…A beautiful, gracious country.
I am currently looking to retire. I have traveled and lived in RVs for years as part of my work life, often going completely off grid. I have been looking at upgrading to a tiny home as a way of improving the accessibility of this type of living situation. Im working with a tiny home designer now. The bathroom concept we are working on is cool: a ten by 10 room with no barriers, everything water proof, essentially a big wet room, parts of which can be hidden behind sliding barn doors. The sink, shower and obligatory compost toilet are all wheelchair accessible…so will be servicing the day to day essentials.
Anyway… Brilliant site. I hope it fulfills even half its promise. Picture is of me and 4 of my 5 kids the top photo is my oldest son who just finished a degree in advanced mathmatics. The others are all late teens… Goodness, it happens so fast!