Access to Travel, your special needs information source, will provide you with facts on accessible transportation and travel across Canada with the aim of making accessible travel easy and enjoyable! This site, created by Transport Canada, has a wealth of information on adapted tourism in Canada as well as a detailed list of Canadian transportation companies offering accessible local, intercity, and national service.
Allergies, special meals, and medication
Get the information you need on the range of special meals offered on VIA trains, medication transportation and storage, and the policy on oxygen bottles:
Updated requirements (as of April 2023) for COVID-19: travel, testing and borders. COVID-19 border measures have ended as of October 1, 2022 for all travellers entering or returning to Canada by air, land or sea.
VIA Rail in Canada and Amtrak in the U.S. have excellent services for special needs. To be sure you receive the service you need, purchase your tickets over the telephone and let them know what you need. Services vary from train to train and station to station but if they know in advance what you need, they will be able to help you.
Do the stations have wheelchair access? Can you bring a guide dog or get around in the trains by wheelchair?
Canada: VIA Rail Accessible Services
To find out what you need to know about the accessibility of VIA trains, consult the following links:
To find out what you need to know about the accessibility of VIA trains, consult the following links:
To make reservations for accessible space on Amtrak, purchase your tickets over the phone or in person at an Amtrak ticket counter.
By telephone: Please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245). Agents are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
By TDD/TTY: Please call 1-800-523-6590. Agents are available from 5 am to 1 am EST, seven days a week.
At an Amtrak ticket counter: Ticket agents at staffed stations can sell tickets during regular ticket office hours. Please call 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245) for details.
Up until 14 days before the departure of each train from its origin city, reservations for accessible bedrooms may be made only for passengers who are mobility impaired. After this period, and if all other Deluxe and Family bedrooms have been reserved, accessible bedrooms are made available to all passengers on a first-come, first-served basis. For this reason, you are urged to make your reservations as far in advance of travel as possible. On the Accessible Travel Services page, information about special needs and accessibility is available about: Updated
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Did you know that service animals are not always dogs. They can include monkeys, cats, and small horses!
There is not a comprehensive list of what types of animals can be service animals. Animals, like people, have different temperaments, limitations, skills, and abilities. Thus, different types and breeds of animals may be trained to perform specific tasks. Matching a particular animal's skills and abilities to the tasks that need to be performed can be an important factor for a person with a disability when selecting a service animal.
Often, phrases are coined to describe the type of impairment or task a particular animal is assisting with-such as "signal dog," "hearing cat," "assistance monkey," "guide horse," and "seizure response dog."
National Association of Guide Dog Users (NAGDU) is a proud division of the National Federation of the Blind, the oldest and largest organization of the blind in the United States. (NAGDU) is an organization for blind people who currently use guide dogs as mobility tools, those considering getting a guide dog, or those who want to learn more about the use of such dogs. We provide a forum for those interested in the guide dog movement to discuss common issues and to increase opportunities for those who have chosen to use a guide dog for independent travel. NAGDU works to promote sound practices in the training and use of such dogs for mobility by offering input and advice to guide dog training programs. We are also committed to educating business owners, law enforcement officers, and the general public about state and federal laws that give disabled people the right to be accompanied by their guide dogs.
Inform the TSA officer that you are traveling with a service animal. You may provide the officer with the TSA notification card: Individuals with Disabilities and Medical Conditions or medical documentation to describe your condition.
You and your service dog/animal will be screened by a walk-through metal detector. You may walk through together or you may lead the animal through separately on a leash.
If you opt not to be screened by the walk-through metal detector, you will undergo a pat-down.
If the metal detector alarms, you and/or your service dog/animal will undergo additional screening, including a pat-down.
During the additional screening, do not make contact with the dog (other than holding the leash) until a TSA officer has completed inspection of your dog/animal. TSA will not separate you from your service animal. If you have concerns about your screening, you can ask to speak with a supervisor or passenger support specialist at any point during the process.
Service dog collars, harnesses, leashes, backpacks, vests and other items are subject to screening. Items that are necessary to maintain control of the service dog or indicate that the service dog is on duty do not require removal to be screened.
If you need to relieve your service dog and must exit the security checkpoint, you and the service dog will need to go through the screening process again. You may request to move to the front of the line upon your return.
Medication for service animals must go through X-ray or inspection screening. Please separate medications and inform the TSA officer that you carry these items for your service dog.
Animal Travel and Transport by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA): Planning to transport your pets or other animals within the U.S. or internationally? If so, you will likely need a certificate of veterinary inspection (CVI).
People and Pets Dog Airlines LLC started by a 13-year old boy after a traumatic experience with his pet. "People and Pets Dog Airlines transports dogs and cats to any airport in the contiguous United States. We fly two weeks a month, we're safer and more convenient than cargo holds, and we're easier than driving! Pets are constantly monitored by our crewmembers, and our pilots can contact vets on the ground in case of any problems." As of March 1, 2015, they are also operating free flights with their charity program PAWfund.
Fidos for Freedom Our mission is to enhance the quality of life for people in the Washington-Baltimore Metropolitan community by providing specially trained hearing dogs, service dogs, and therapy dogs. Fidos also educates the public about individuals with disabilities and about the benefits of assistance dogs and therapy dogs and the work that these specially trained dogs do for individuals with disabilities, children with reading difficulties, and patients in health care facilities.
Guide Dogs For The Blind (GDB) Guide Dogs for the Blind is more than an industry-leading guide dog school; we are a passionate community that serves the visually impaired. With exceptional client services and a robust network of trainers, puppy raisers, donors and volunteers, we prepare highly qualified guide dogs to serve and empower individuals who are blind or have low vision. All of our services are provided free of charge; we receive no government funding. Updated
Horses Adaptive Riding & Therapy (HART) provides adaptive and recreational riding to individuals with special needs. Based in Oregon's mid-Willamette Valley, we focus on creating a supportive, inclusive and compassionate environment for our clients, staff (two-legged and four-legged) and volunteers. Updated
Great and Small Therapeutic Riding "When I ride, I soar." Great and Small provides Equine-Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT) to children and adults of all ages affected by a range of physical, developmental, emotional, and learning disabilities. Through a supportive and therapeutic engagement with horses we strengthen and empower our riders, helping them develop their full potential. Great and Small is a partner with the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission at the Rickman Farm Horse Park in Boyds, Maryland. Their students come from the Montgomery County Public Schools, several private schools, and the local community at large. Great and Small is also proud to serve as a pre-approved Student Service Learning Site for the Montgomery County Public Schools.
Great and Small believes that the essential qualities of power and sensitivity embodied in the horse can strengthen and empower persons of all ages and abilities.
Hippotherapy and Therapeutic/Adaptive Riding "Which one is best for my child?" by The Children's TherAplay Foundation, Inc. Through hippotherapy, specially-trained physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech/language pathologists apply the movement, rhythm, and repetition of the horse's movement as a treatment strategy to help patients achieve therapeutic goals. Using different combinations of patterns, speeds, and riding postures, highly-trained therapists are able to provide precisely the sensory and neurological input each child will benefit from most. Therapeutic / adaptive riding is a recreational activity that has been adapted for those with special needs and tend to be related to riding skills building confidence and relationships, and emotional well-being.
Horses Healing Maryland's Military A coalition of licensed Maryland stables offering horsemanship and therapeutic programs to Veterans and their families. Their Program Directory page contains a list of stables that are licensed through the Maryland Horse Industry Board (MHIB), and provide equine assisted services for active-duty members, Veterans and their families. New