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Accommodations Across Five Continents


Disability is experienced globally, and around the world people take different approaches to accommodations. While traveling we love to see innovative ways to think about accessibility. In today’s From the Founders blog, we are going to share some of the ones that caught our attention from five different continents.


World map with Blue Trunk logo pins in Brazil, Spain, South Africa, India, and Australia.


Rupa sitting in a wheelchair at the airport and smiling at the camera.
Rupa using airport wheelchair assistance in India

1. India

One of the challenges for people with mobility related disabilities during air travel is waiting until check-in is complete to receive assistance. This can mean having to coordinate with family members or friends to help navigate check-in, especially if you are trying to manage luggage. While traveling in India we were thrilled to discover that you can receive wheelchair assistance before even entering the airport. Having assistance available from the moment you arrive at the airport makes it a better experience and makes it much easier to travel alone. Kempegowda International Airport's accessibility page clearly states they provide curbside wheelchair service and this article from India Education Diary discusses the accessibility services, including curbside assistance, at Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport.


Sign in Spanish with circular icons for the 14 allergens.
Spanish sign of allergen icons

2. Spain

In the European Union there are 14 ingredients that must be claimed as allergens. These are often marked with a very clear key on the menu. These allergens include: celery, cereals containing gluten, crustaceans, eggs, fish, lupin, milk, mollusks, mustard, peanuts, sesame, soybeans, sulphur dioxide and sulfites, and tree nuts. We have noticed this particularly in Spain, as you can see in the images of menus below. If you are looking into making menus that are compliant with EU regulations or want some design inspiration for marking allergens you can check out Menu Tech, a website that provides EU compliant menu building software.



Sign that reads "diabetic gelato, please ask at the counter for our diabetic gelato with a hazelnut or chocolate flavour, made with fat free milk and sweetened with stevia."
Sign at Gelato Mania in Hermanus

3. South Africa

While we are on the topic of food, in addition to allergens people can need to avoid certain foods for other health conditions, such as diabetes. In South Africa we spotted this “diabetic gelato” for sale at Gelato Mania in Hermanus. They also have vegan gelato and sorbet options for people who don’t consume dairy products (however please note the diabetic gelato is not dairy-free). You can learn more about these products on Gelato Mania's webpage.








Sliding glass doors and windows for Travllers Aid office, covered in icons for services provided.
Travellers Aid office at Southern Cross Stion

4. Australia

While traveling through Melbourne we spotted the Travellers Aid office in the Southern Cross station. This organization has services at the Southern Cross and Flinders Street Stations in Melbourne as well as the Seymour Railway Station in Seymour. You can rent mobility equipment ranging from forearm crutches, to walking canes, to manual and power wheelchairs. They also provide a companion service with volunteers to help you navigate the public transit system. These are just a couple examples of the services they offer, they have even more including charging of mobility equipment. You can check out their website to see all the services they provide, both for individuals with and without disabilities.



A museum display with a picture of a duck and a braille outline of a duck
Display at Museum of Tomorrow

5. Brazil

Museums may not seem like the most accessible tourist destinations for people who are low vision or blind. However several museums have incorporated visual accessibility into their exhibits, from touch tours, to audio experiences, to braille. An exhibit at the Museum of Tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro stood out to us for their creative use of braille. Instead of simply writing out the words associated with the exhibit, they used braille to recreate the images. So this display that had images of ducks also used braille to create a tactile representation of a duck.






TV with a woman in a white shirt sitting on a couch being interviewed and a small overlay of a woman in a black shirt signing.
Sign language on local programming in Portugal

6. Around the World Bonus!

This last one is a bonus that we’ve seen in several countries throughout the world–sign language on the news. In many countries it is standard for there to always be sign language interpretation included with news programming. This is a great way to make sure the news is more accessible to everybody and should be standard practice everywhere.


 

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed learning about these accommodations from around the world please comment and share! Are there accommodations that have stood out to you in your travels? We’d love to hear about them, please share in the comments of email us at Blog@BlueTrunk.org and we might feature them in a future post!


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