Sailing for people with significant physical disabilities got its start in Canada in 1989, when Sam Sullivan used a British-made Sunbird dinghy to launch the first few sails at the Jericho Sailing Centre on English Bay. Today, the ASABC operates eight specially designed Canadian made Martin 16 sailboats and hosts 1000+ sails each (non-COVID) year at Jericho and more from its affiliated branches in Victoria, Chemainus, and Kelowna. The Martin 16 sailboat is designed specifically to be accessible for all levels of ability, with use of either a joystick control or sip and puff technology. Participants range from novices to experienced racers who advance to join the Race Club, representing ASABC in local regattas and national competitions.
Inspired by ASABC and Sam Sullivan's efforts to expose more and more people with very high levels of physical disabilities to the sport, adaptive sailing has now spread across Canada, throughout the US and around the world. Disabled sailing played a major role in the Summer Paralympics every four years up until 2020 when it was dropped for the Tokyo Paralympics. See the post Para Sailing will not be included in the Paralympic Games for LA28.
There are several other training and competitive programs throughout Canada such as:
The AbleSail Network website has a list of links to other sites for disabled sailing organizations in Canada by province. See AbleSail Network's member programs are not-for-profit organizations that provide accessible sailing programs.
Adaptive Sailing, once part of the Disabled Sports USA organization, is now part of the new Move United organization that was created when Disabled Sports USA merged with the Adaptive Sports USA organization in 2020. [Wikipedia] Updated
Move United is a member of the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee. The organization (headquartered in Rockville, Maryland) operates community parasports programs through over 210 member organizations in 45 states. Mission: Ensuring everyone, regardless of ability, experiences the life-changing power of sport and is included in their community.
Follow Move United in one of several social media aps. New
Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating (CRAB). Provides the therapeutic benefits of sailing to people with disabilites, recovering warriors, and youth from underserved communities. There is no cost for sailing with CRAB. CRAB relies on donations to support its operational and facilities costs. New
TSA Tips for Traveling with Visible and Invisible Disabilities
Those of us with invisible disabilities know how humiliating the TSA checkpoint can be and a long wait in line can build your pain level to much higher levels. I can identify with the terrible experience had by Brittany Quinn that she documents in her post TSA Agent Kruze: "Was the surgery worth the pain?". Hopefully her formal complaint to the TSA and the DoHS succeeded in getting better training for the TSA agents. Since then some improvements have been made that can help you. Before your trip:
Apply for a TSA PreCheck™ membership: good for 5 years and is renewable, fee is $85, spend less time in line, you do not have to remove your shoes, light jackets, belts, 3-1-1 liquids, or laptops. You can apply online and get an appointment at your local airport or a TSA enrollment center to have a 10-minute background check and be fingerprinted.
Contact the airline 72 hours in advance about your disability needs. Some airports can provide you with an advocate when you check in who will go through security with you.
Tips about Air Travel if you are Blind
Another frequent traveler is Tom Babinszki, who was born blind. Tom has a passion for travel and blogs on his website Even Grounds about traveling the world. It is not so easy when you are blind but it is not impossible. In his blog he shares his experiences and provides some tips for blind travelers. His latest post in February 2020 is "Air Travel", in which he describes getting around the airport, going through security checkpoints, waiting at the gate, and entertaining yourself during the flight.
Tips from the Feeding Tube Awareness Foundation for disabled passengers at TSA checkpoints:
Get a travel letter from your doctor explaining your medical condition. Also make sure to document all the medical supplies and equipment you will be traveling with. This can assist you through security and act as a form of advocacy. See the Sample Travel Letter for Feeding Tube and IV Consumers page for sample letter. Updated
Talk to your homecare company. It's possible they can deliver supplies right to your destination so you don't need to travel with it. This save you the hassle of lugging heavy equipment and avoids the difficulty of getting through security.
U.S. Department of Transportation Toll-Free Hotline for air travelers with disabilities:
TSA Cares hotline: 1-855-787-2227
The Hotline is available from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, seven days a week. It serves two main purposes: (1) education and (2) assistance in resolving disability-related air travel problems.
Air travelers who have a disability-related issue must submit their complaint in writing using the Air Travel Complaint – Comment Form of the U.S. Department of Transportation, or
By postal mail to:
Aviation Consumer Protection Division
U.S. Department of Transportation
400 7th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20590
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation. NHTSA strives to save lives, prevent injuries, and reduce economic costs caused by road traffic crashes, through education, research, safety standards, and enforcement activity. The website provides Car Ratings, Recalls, and the Latest Safety News New
NHTSA's Automotive Safety Issues for Persons with Disabilities. People with disabilities can often drive safely by making modifications or adding adaptive equipment to their vehicles to meet their specific needs. As the technology has gotten better and has increased in availability, the number of people using adapted vehicles has also increased. NHTSA supports people with disabilities by offering tips on modifying or purchasing a vehicle to accommodate their driving needs. Safety Fact: The possible cost of a new vehicle modified with adaptive equipment is $80,000. Updated
Traveler’s Emergency Network (TEN) an international membership organization dedicated to providing the best travel assistance services for a low annual membership fee: 24 hour access to medical experts, emergency evacuation, repatriation home after stabilization, transportation home for dependents, return of mortal remains, Seven Corners International, and many other travel benefits.
Insight – The accessible tourism opportunity by the Australian Trade and Investment Commission, 1 December 2022. After a challenging few years, tourism businesses are looking for opportunities to recover and grow. The long-term strategy for Australia's visitor economy, THRIVE 2030, nominates accessible tourism as a priority. New
Accessible Tourism. Accessible tourism is the ongoing endeavour to ensure tourist destinations, products and services are accessible to all people, regardless of their physical limitations, disabilities or age. New
Accessible travel around Australia. Australia is committed to accessible tourism, providing equal opportunities for every traveller to play, explore and discover the wonders of the country. New
Accessible Tourism &mdasg; Northern Territory. People with access requirements include those with young children in prams, seniors with mobility requirements and people with permanent or temporary disabilities. With an estimated 20% of Australian adults having a disability or long-term health condition, and an ageing population, the sector is set to grow. Many destinations have laws and policies around services and buildings being access. Australia's Disability Strategy 2021–2031 calls on all Australians to ensure people with disability can participate as equal members of society. The Northern Territory (NT) Disability Strategy 2022-2032 and the 3-year Action Plan 2022-2025 is the first of its kind for the Territory. It demonstrates the NT Government’s responsibility and accountability to all Territorians with disability. New
Old Town Nice France Accessible Guided Tour This accessible Nice walking tour can begin from the Nice cruise dock or your accessible hotel in downtown Nice. During your half-day walking tour you'll stroll along the famous Promenade des Anglais boulevard that runs along the ocean. Your accessible Nice tour will also visit the narrow winding streets of Le Vieux Nice including the colorful markets, Baroque churches, and pastel houses. The tour has a 3 Star Sage Accessibility Rating because it uses step-free routes along the tour route. It did not receive a higher rating because you may encounter cobblestones and hills during the tour. If you are arriving at the Villefranche cruise dock, the Monaco cruise dock, or the Cannes cruise dock, you can book a Nice accessible van tour instead. Some entrance tickets are free for disabled visitors if they have an ID card from their home country stating the percent of their disability.
Disabled Travelers Guide to the World get rid of your fear, follow your dreams, and trust that a solution will be found. This travel guide shows how a couple visited many countries, tells you how to plan, where to stay, and what to take.
The National Ability Center offers a wide variety of programs both seasonally and year-round. Activities include alpine and Nordic skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, horseback riding, hippotherapy, indoor rock climbing, swimming, archery, sled hockey, cycling, water-skiing, wakeboarding, kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding, and challenge course activities. In each of the last three years, individuals and their families participated in more than 19,000 lessons and outings. Because safety is the first priority, instruction is provided by professional, certified instructors and complemented by trained interns and volunteer assistants. More than 850 volunteers contribute over 20,000 hours annually. Many of the instructors and volunteers are also individuals with disabilities and serve as role models for our participants.