Accessible Travel

Sports — Diplomacy to Touch the World

For the hundredth time, she wrapped her hands tightly around the barbell and breathed in deeply. She pushed the weight up over the rack and waited for the signal from the judge. For a moment, she blocked out every other thought and concentrated on only one task: bringing the weight down onto her chest ... Read more

The Second International Integrated Art Exhibition for Persons with Disabilities, Wuhan China

Please let us know if you are interested in submitting your artwork to this unique opportunity. Only accepted artists will be asked to attend; airfare is not included, but all costs for accommodations in Wuhan, China will be covered. (see below). Artists do not have to be present to exhibit art or win. Time ... Read more

Planes Adapted with Hand Controls

A retired U.S. Army captain who was wounded in combat by an improvised explosive device is one of seven people at Purdue University working to show that their disabilities will not hold them back from taking to the skies. Students in this year’s Able Flight program arrived on campus May 22 and got their ... Read more

‘Smart’ leg mobility device could provide hands-free, alternative to conventional crutches

Individuals with lower leg injuries could soon be saying goodbye to traditional crutches with the development of a hands-free alternative that is more comfortable and potentially more effective. The device, developed by Purdue University graduates, could provide ergonomic and natural movement and transmit real-time recovery data to physicians. “Six and a half million people ... Read more


Air travel can be taxing in the best of times. To help ease some of the stress, Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA) Disabilities Office has prepared tips to help make travel a little easier: Notify the airline at least three days before your planned trip if you will need assistance once you arrive at ... Read more

Armenia — A University of Change

Until it became independent in 1991, Armenia was one of the 15 republics that made up the Soviet Union. The country is rich in culture deeply rooted in its ancestry—what it lacks in population, the people surpass in determination. Armen Der Kiureghian, PhD, has been dividing his time between UC Berkeley and the American ... Read more

Hans — Museum of the Mind

ABILITY caught up with Hans Looijen, who heads up Het Dolhuys, the museum of the mind in Haarlem, Netherlands, when he was attending an Integrated Art Exhibition in Wuhan, China. His museum explores the boundaries between what they consider to be normal, abnormal, as well as deviant behavior. Looijen is also chairman of the ... Read more

Yosemite — Bear Necesseties

The majesty of Yosemite Valley beckons me every summer. My husband and I make the long winding drive from Marin County, across the Central Valley and up into the hills and down again, to hang out with friends by the lazy Tuolomne River, surrounded by trees, and gaze at the astounding glacier-cut granite. I’m ... Read more

Zach Anner Interview

YouTube phenomenon Zach Anner became a household name five years ago when he co-won Oprah Winfrey’s Reality TV competition, Your OWN Show: Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star. Though his wheelchair travel series, Rollin’ With Zach, was short lived, Anner has kept it moving. His YouTube channel has more than 300,000 subscribers, and ... Read more

Fun in Europe!

  It’s been a crazy life for me recently! My best friend and I went to Europe for a three-week vacation. We booked the tickets so long ago that I thought the day would never arrive, but then we were leaving New York and buckling up for the flight to Italy. Ashley—my friend’s name, ... Read more

LILY BANDAK — A Clear Focus

Photographer and advocate, Lily Bandak, and her colleague, San Diego State University professor and administrator Caren Sax, recently spoke with ABILITY’s Lia Martirosyan and Chet Cooper about ringing the link between travel, education, photography and disability into focus. Chet Cooper: Tell us about your photography background. Lily Bandak: My family is from Bethlehem in ... Read more

Destinations for All

The tourism industry successfully reached one billion international travelers in 2012. While this represents strong growth, there are still great challenges for the approximately 15 percent of travelers who have a disability and need accessible transportation. Without this, they lack the ability to enjoy the full range of tourist destinations. This lack of accommodation ... Read more

Voiceye–Accessible Code

Similar looking to barcodes used on products at the grocery store, VOICEYE encodes large amounts of data into a small, printed square. Using a free app available on your smartphone, scanned VOICEYE codes can be translated and decoded in a variety of ways: print, voice, braille, or translation. Recently while visiting Seoul, Korea, ABILITY’s Lia ... Read more

OrCam — Point the Way!

Imagine a person with low vision walk into a coffee shop, order from a wall menu and then sit down to read a newspaper. Or that same individual producing the right fare amount for a taxi to the airport, and then reading the flight-board to find their gate for departure. While these examples might ... Read more

Morgan’s Wonderland — An Accessible Fun-der-land

While splashing in a hotel pool in 2006, Gordon Hartman’s daughter, Morgan, approached some children. Unable to speak, she tapped a ball at them eager to play, but they backed away cautiously. The moment both saddened Hartman and made him determined to find a place where people like Morgan, who have cognitive or physical ... Read more

Sharjah’s — Sheikha Jameela bint Mohammed Al Qasimi

At the recent assistive technology conference in San Diego, ABILITY’s Chet Cooper and Lia Limón Martirosyan caught up with Sheikha Jameela bint Mohammed Al Qasimi and Amal Al-Khamis. They’d flown in from Sharjah, one of the seven United Arab Emirates (UAE). Chet Cooper: Does Sheikha mean “princess” Sheikha Jameela bint Mohammed Al Qasimi: In ... Read more

Haitian Leader — Changing Attitudes on Disability

Gerald Oriol, Jr., Haiti’s Secretary of State for the Integration of Persons with Disabilities, has no shortage of education: He holds degrees from the University of Florida and Harvard. He also possesses a wealth of public, private and nonprofit experience. Still, President Michel Martelly’s decision to appoint Oriol, who has spinal muscular atrophy, represents ... Read more

Trail Mix — The Wilderness Made Accessible

Circa 2010-11 New York’s Adirondack Park is a six-million acre wonderland for those who love the outdoors. The largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi River, it attracts hikers and bikers, as well as folks who fish, bird, golf and gallop. But if you’re blind or deaf or use a wheelchair, you may have ... Read more

A Trip To Germany — Disability and Deutchland

Circa 2010-11 Twice a month I walk four easy minutes to my local tram stop, hop on the tram, and disembark fifteen minutes later at Ebertplatz. From there I walk just five minutes to join the other women of my writing group. My trip is usually so easy, I don’t even think about it. ... Read more

Colorado Travel — Year-Round Adventure

Circa 2005 Apine branch brushes your arm as the horse you sit atop rambles slowly along the mountain path. A lone bird calls quietly in the twilight, and you pull your horse off the path to join a group of campers for dinner over an open fire. Or perhaps you’d prefer clutching an oar ... Read more