Traveling with a Disability: The Applause

I buckled my seatbelt and reached toward the floor to caress Madge’s velvety ears. The flight attendants began to voice the emergency exits and I could feel the plane slightly glide up and down, reminding me we were actually moving. The ticket agent instantly fell in love with Madge and bumped us up to first class; something I felt a little guilty about accepting, but got over quickly once I rested my tired limbs on the plush seat. Read More

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

Independently

As it has for many, the meaning of the 4th of July has changed tremendously for me from the time I was a nerdy kid in San Jose to a writer in San Francisco.  Images of barbecues and city parks have been replaced by feelings of patriotism when I listen for the mechanical bird to sing at an intersection when crossing a major street.  Ironically, the biggest change in the definition of Independence Day occurred when I lost my sight. Within days of going blind, I was contacted by social workers and representatives from city programs and non-profits that were eager to help out. As I assimilated into my world of darkness, the Department of Rehabilitation purchased blind technology that otherwise I would have not been able to afford on my own.

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