Traveling with Disabilities and Training the Travel Industry to Adapt

Nothing arouses my senses quite like a new city. In major metropolitan centers, there are a multitude of things that scream out, “Here! Come here. We’ve got something fascinating in store for you.”

A street full of manic traffic informs me it’s a major thoroughfare and I should use it to navigate this new domain.

The smell of coffee whispers, “We can awaken your brain with a delicious cup of brew.”

The distinct scent of certain chemicals gently reminds me I’m due for my bi-weekly haircut. Read More

The Rescue

I decided to visit an old friend Facebook reminded me I knew who lives in the small town of San Carlos California. My friend was to pick me up at the bus depot after his kick boxing class, but because I arrived an hour early, I decided to take my guide dog Madge on a quick walk around the quaint neighborhood. I was enjoying the sun on my bare arms when I heard sirens and a male voice over an intercom demand, “Please halt your service dog.” Confused, Madge and I stood still as a pair of fast moving feet approached us. Although the officer was standing next to me, he began to shout as if I was a block away, “Are you lost? Can I help you?” My hair now slicked back as a result of the man’s loud voice. “Yes, you can help me by not yelling at my face,” I smirked.

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Super Madge

I had been walking for about five minutes up and down the numerous hallways when I heard a man offer me help. I told him where I needed to be and he asked, “No problem! Should I write the directions down for your dog?” A loud laugh tumbled out of my mouth and I realized the stranger was not kidding when he began to talk to Madge, “Ok puppy, just go down this hallway and make a left at the elevator.” Read More

Downward Facing Dog

I arrived at the Yoga studio where I was welcomed by serene music, possibly Enya, and asked the room, “Where do I sign up?” A calm voice answered, “Hi there, I’m so happy you’re here. Will your dog be showing you the movements?” Assuming the woman was joking, I replied, “Absolutely! Her favorite pose is the downward facing dog.” I chuckled and was startled when I heard the same woman cry, “Wow, that is great that she can do that for you.” Before I could think of anything to say I heard the woman shout, Read More

The Giant

Madge and I walked through the automatic doors and were greeted by an air conditioned gust of wind. Like most blind people, I depend on store clerks to help me with my shopping. Some clerks really get into the “helping mood” and even suggest deals and products, while other clerks channel their first school dance experience, making us both feel like a pair of seventh graders. I called out, “Can I get some help please?” and Madge lay down on the floor, almost as if she knew the service was going to be slow. A few more seconds went by and I called for help again. It was my first time visiting this particular pharmacy near school, and I began to grow restless. Read More