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
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.
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
MobilityWorks has over 90 wheelchair accessible vehicle showroom locations in the United States. Our goal is to provide consumers with more options to find the right van for sale, or to rent, in a city close to their home or travel destination.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.