Barrier-Free Travel!

We are asking for your help to send Ashley, of, and Bonnie, of Wheeling California's Coast & Access Northern California, to the first ever international conference on accessible tourism (Destinations for All) in Montreal on October 19-22, so that we can further our goals to make wheelchair accessible travel the norm and not the exception.

Most everyone likes to travel whether across country or to a park close to home––it is a treasured freedom of our society. However, many people with disabilities are denied the rewarding and enriching experiences that travel offers. Fear of the unknown and a lack of reliable access information to help plan a trip is often cited as one of the top reasons why people with disabilities don't travel. Questions such as, does the hotel have a roll in shower; where can I find lift-equipped transportation; how do I get on an airplane if I can't walk; what attractions are accessible at my destination, often go unanswered. Not only is there a severe lack of access information, but often times the limited information that does exist is inaccurate and unreliable or may even come with a price. Finding answers to these accessibility questions in preparation for a trip can be daunting, time consuming, rife with complications and a deterent to taking a trip.

We have been working (with little to no compensation) in the inclusive tourism field for more than a combined 30 years to help eliminate the information barriers that hinder many people who have access needs from traveling and to educate the tourism industry about this market on the best ways to accommodate them. We are passionate about helping other people with accessibility needs to travel and believe that attending this conference will further enhance our ability to do so. We are not asking for your help for our benefit, rather for the many millions of people around the world that want to, and have the right to travel.

Having access to travel opportunities goes beyond providing good access information and physical access and only when the tourism industry makes a shift in thinking from obligation (it's required by law to be accessible) to opportunity (it's good for business to look at ALL peoples needs), will inclusive tourism become "the standard."

One of the topics at the conference is about establishing an international standard for accessibility so that when someone travels abroad, they can be assured that an accessible shower offered in the U.S. will have the same access as one in Eygpt. It is critical that we have a voice in this conversation and share our extensive expertise in this and the many other discussions that will take place amongst industry leaders. We will also benefit from hearing about best practices in inclusive tourism around the globe.

Your tax-deductable donation will help make accessible adventures the norm and not the exception. 

Our Heartfelt THANKS!
Bonnie Lewkowicz & Ashley Lyn Olson

Your donation will help cover our trip expenses:
$1,500 Conference Registration Fee x 2
$2,500 Lodging (5 nights, 2 rooms)
$2,500 Airfare (3 people)
$700 Personal Care Attendant
$300 Meals

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Ashley Lyn Olson
Berkeley, CA
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.

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