2014 MDF Annual Conference: Traveling with DM Web Resources

Government or Nonprofit Organizations

  • US Passports & International Travel: "Traveling with Disabilities"

Travel Assistance Companies

  • WheelchairTraveling.com
    Ashley Lyn Olson is the creator/owner of this company and has been a guest presenter at our support group. Paralyzed from a car accident at age 14, Ashley has since spent a lot of time traveling and gathering knowledge and resources about accessibility. She has a lot of great resources on the website. You can follow her on Facebook too – Wheelchair Traveling.
  • Easy Access Travel
    Easy Access Travel is dedicated to the special needs of disabled and mature people. Their goal is to provide you with the proper information to make an informed decision on the best destinations for your next vacation. They hope to educate you on how to travel with mobility aids, how to ask for what you need when you travel and how to have a successful experience. They have a monthly email newsletter.

Travel Agencies Specializing in Special Needs Travel

  • Hammer Travel
    Hammer Travel provides a variety of experiences for individuals or groups. Their mission is to “provide travel opportunities for people with developmental disabilities that are unique, safe and enjoyable.” Hammer Travel offers week-long trips to many destinations including San Francisco, Paris, London, New York City, and Cancun.
  • Flying Wheels Travel
    Flying Wheels Travel provides people with physical disabilities, chronic illness, or difficulty walking the opportunity for unique travel and recreation destinations while empowering individuals and their family members to explore the world. They offer fully accessible travel packages that include independent travel, escorted travel, or hosted travel.  On escorted or professional tours, an escort (who is responsible for ensuring the tour goes smoothly) is provided.
  • New Directions
    New Directions is a non-profit organization providing leisure and educational travel opportunities for teenagers, adults, and seniors who have brain impairments such as mild to moderate developmental disabilities, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, or autism. Since 1985, they have taken over 12,000 people with special needs on tours all over the world. New Directions provides trips for teens and young adults to destinations including San Diego, Las Vegas, Kennedy Space Center in Florida, New York City, Hawaii, and Spring Training in Arizona.  International trips include a South African Safari and a Mexican Cruise.
  • Autism on the Seas
    Autism on the Seas has worked together with Royal Caribbean International creating unique cruise and land resort stays with their staff who has experience with people with autism and other special needs. In these all-inclusive packages, their staff cruises with travelers with a minimum of a 1:3 staffer traveler ratio. Travelers are grouped by age for activities and meals. Autism on the Seas also provides individual cruise assistance services for those who would like to vacation on their own with other cruise liners, including Disney and Carnival.
  • Disabled Travelers
    This website lists travel agencies by service and location. Disabled Travelers gives detailed information on arranging trips and cruises, and features travelers’ reviews of their experiences.

Air & Cruise Travel Companies

  • JetBlue: Special Assistance
  • Southwest Airlines: Customers with Disabilities
  • Carnival Cruises: For Guest with Disabilities
  • United Airlines: Special Travel Needs
  • Virgin Atlantic: Special Assistance

Online Articles

  • "Special Vacation Spots for Families with Special Needs Children"

  • eHow “Travel Ideas for Disabled Children
  • NPR, “Confronting the Challenges of Traveling with a Disability”
  • Travel with Disabilities (Part 1)
  • About Parenting: “Travel with Children with Special Needs”
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Travelers’ Health” Chapter 8: Advising Travelers with Special Needs
  • Travel Advisor: Traveling with Medical Equipment
  • Transportation Security Administration (TSA) “Travelers with Disabilities and Medical Conditions”
  • Rick Steves’ Europe “Travelers with Disabilities”
  • USA Today “Airline Traveling with Handicaps & Disabilities”
  • 11 Essential iPhone Apps for a Road Trip


  • Destination Disneyland Resort with Disabilities: A Guidebook and Planner for Families and Folks with Disabilities traveling to Disneyland Resort Park and Disney California Adventure Park by Buchholz, Sue, Wooldridge, Edna (2011)

  • Frommer's 500 Places to Take Your Kids Before They Grow Up Paperback – August 7, 2006  by Holly Hughes

  • The Savvy Traveler “Traveling with Disabilities”

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