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Before The Disability”
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There are a few things to consider when navigating an airport for an individual with a disability:
Bringing your own Wheelchair: If you use a wheelchair you will need to notify the airport at least a week before your departure. You can usually do this when you book your flight. However, it's always a good idea to call as well. The airline will want to know what type of wheelchair you are bringing: manual or power. If you are bringing a power wheelchair the airline will need to know the battery type: gel or dry cell as opposed to a wet cell battery. A wet cell battery will require special handling at the airport. The airline will also need to know if you are able to transfer independently. They will gate check your wheelchair so that it will be available to you when the flight lands. If you are not able to transfer independently the airline will be able to provide assistance. This will most likely entail the use of an "aisle chair" (a chair narrow enough to fit in the aisle of the plane). If you have a connection be prepared for the possibility that you do not make your connection and, in some cases, you may even have to stay overnight until a new flight is available. If you need adaptive equipment such as a Hoyer lift, you may not have that available during this time.
Using an airport wheelchair: This is a good option for anyone who has trouble with walking long distances. Notify the airline at least a week before your departure. And, you will also need to notify them upon arrival. They will assign an attendant to navigate you to the appropriate gate. If you have a connecting flight and require assistance between gates you may need to notify the airline staff as you depart the plane and wait at the arrival gate until your wheelchair arrives. We do not recommend this for people with cognitive delays as the airport staff are not always reliable and will sometimes leave you unattended at your gate.
Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities: The airline should be notified that
an individual with an intellectual disability will be flying independently at the
time of booking and a call should be made to confirm with the airline a week before
the departing flight. You can have one person chaperone you through security to
wait with you until you board the plane. And, one person, on the arriving end waiting
at the arrival gate for you to de-
Medication Considerations: Always bring important medication as a carry-
Exceptional Vacations staff are available to answer any additional questions that
you may have. Please call us toll-