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Posted on: April 22, 2015

Good planning makes travel accessible for all

Leisure travel is becoming increasingly accessible to people with disabilities and older adults. People can take safe, relaxing vacations anywhere in the world, but, as with any trip, planning is the key.

“Planning for Safe Travels” is a free, information-only presentation that will provide useful information and resources to help individuals and families who have caught the “travel bug.” The one-hour presentation will look at travel planning, packing, practical tips, dealing with the TSA, personal safety and travel options.

“People with disabilities and older adults often consider travel for pleasure simply too difficult and tiring,” said Aaron Van Valkenburg, manager of Pierce County Aging and Disability Resources. “But in so many ways things have changed for the better. Today’s services and destinations are prepared to welcome seniors and people with mobility challenges in ways that can provide an experience of rest, relaxation and rejuvenation.”

AAA Travel and Pierce County Aging & Disability Resources have partnered to present “Planning for Safe Travels.” The free workshops will be offered three times in May.

  • Friday, May 8 (12:10 to 12:50 p.m.) Pierce County Annex, main meeting room, 2401 S. 35th St. in Tacoma
  • Saturday, May 9 (11 a.m. to noon) Cruise & Travel Presented by AAA, 1801 South Union Ave. in Tacoma
  • Tuesday, May 12 (12:10 to 12:50 p.m.) County-City Building, 7th Floor, Rainier Conference Room, 930 S. Tacoma Ave. in Tacoma
Participants are asked to RSVP in advance for each presentation by calling (253) 756-3034.

The Americans with Disabilities Act guarantees that disabled travelers receive equal treatment under the law. But it doesn't always work out that way in real life, especially in foreign countries where accessibility regulations vary widely. There are as many different needs as there are people with disabilities and seniors. Each person's needs are a little different, and traveling in cookie-cutter airline seats, hotel rooms and rental car fleets can be very tricky. Preparing in advance is crucial to a positive travel experience.

The workshop will be presented by Gala Payne, general manager of travel and member services at the Tacoma office of AAA. Additional materials will be provided by the Pierce County Aging & Disability Resource Center. The information-only presentation is free and open to the public. No products or services will be sold.

MEDIA CONTACTS:
Scott Kinney, Community Connections
253-798-4509
kinney@co.pierce.wa.us

Bob Riler, Community Connections
253-798-7384
briler@co.pierce.wa.us

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