Disabled people who are wheelchair users, be it manual or powered, face a challange when deciding to travel no matter if in their own country or abroad. Typical questions to be answered include, "can I get from the airport to my hotel in an adapted accessible vehicle"; "I can transfer from my manual wheelchair but only into a standard saloon, can I do this for a transfer from the airport"; "I need a hotel room that has an accessible roll-in shower, how can I reserve one as websites don't offer this option"; "I need a wheelchair pusher, are they available in Barcelona etc"; "I want to hire a self drive vehicle to tour Spain that is wheelchair adapted, how do I do this"; "is Barcelona wheelchair friendly"; "is Madrid wheelchair friendly"; "is Valencia wheelchair friendly"; "I need to hire a power chair, is this possible in Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Malaga"; "I want to hire a wheelchair for the duration of my cruise which starts in Barcelona, can I do this?" These are a small sample of typical questions asked by wheelchair users and to which I have the answers for Spain. Questions related to medical care are beyond the scope of my experience.
I am the Managing Director of Accessible Services. My company offers three branded services two of which are relevant to this 'AllExperts' site, Disabled Accessible Travel (http://www.disabledaccessibletravel.com) offering accessible services to the disabled in 51 countries, and Wheelchair Accessible Barcelona (http://www.wheelchair-accessible-barcelona.es) offering specialised services to the disabled within the Metropolitan boundaries of Barcelona and further afield.
In addition to my key area of work I speak at international conferences the last of which was the World Travel Market where in 2010 I was a keynote speaker for the Travel Agent seminar on Accessible Travel for the Disabled.
I am a Founder member of the Global Network for Entrepreneurs with Disabilities acting as advisor on Travel & Tourism for new business start-ups by disabled people.
I act also as a consultant on accessible issues such as access to tourist sites, hotels, and other issues pertinent to access.
I am a registered disabled (rated 40% disability by the Government of Catalunya)person in Spain.
I maintain an informative blog offering guidance and information on issues pertaining to accessible travel for the disabled http://blog.disabledaccessibletravel.com Research papers have been included in a number of International Conferences (as such they are not 'published' works)and blogs related to Accessible Travel.
My educational background is mixed and reflects careers in a diverse range of professions, all at managerial and business ownership level. I hold degrees in Education, Business Management, and Music; a post graduate Diploma in Conducting; and a Masters in Accounting. I also hold a variety of travel industry related Certificates and Diplomas.
Under the brand of Disabled Accessible Travel we manage the services for a number of leading American travel agencies; for many of the Canadian Expedia Cruise Ship Centres and for a variety of UK based agencies and private companies. Amongst the many world wide companies and institutions that have consulted with me is the Vatican Musuem, Rome.