Editor’s Note: Dr. Scott Rains has used his disability, his love of travel, his genuine concern for others in wheelchairs, his goal of making the world more accessible to all people and his doctorate in ministries to create a consulting business. He has considered his disability and identified the advantages and the opportunities that disability affords him to become one of the leading authorities and most sought after experts in this area to make worldwide changes. He also works for the Rick Hansen Foundation, which has as one of its goals to change the world and make it more accessible for anyone with a disability. Part 5 of a 5 part series.
If you’ll do a Google search on the Rick Hansen Foundation and the Global Accessibility Initiative, you’ll find a map tool where people with disabilities can add their comments on how accessible an area or a destination are for people with wheelchairs and other disabilities. There are very good directories for Australia, the United Kingdom, Scotland and several other countries. But, to make the world more accessible for all of us, the tourism industries have to decide that they’re going to make accessibility a part of the data they have available for consumers in all areas of advertisement and promotions and through every vehicle of marketing that the various tourism industries have at their disposal. We have to help the tourism community see that we’re a viable market that spends money on travel, and that we are customers to whom they can promote and sell their travel products and destinations.
For instance, if hotel chains want the disabled to give them their dollars and stay there, then in their advertising and promotions they need to specify that they have handicapped accessible rooms available, just like they have any other amenities that will help consumers make buying decisions to stay at their facilities. They can show pictures of their handicapped accessible rooms, rather than almost hiding the fact that they want the physically challenged to stay with them. I really don’t understand why hotels, motels and sporting events have handicapped facilities and spend the money to make their hotel rooms, motel rooms, athletic facilities, stadiums and auditoriums handicapped accessible but don’t tell anybody.
I’ve been able to discover through my research that handicapped people in the United States alone spend $13.6 billion on travel and tourism. Too, other countries have handicapped people who spend money on travel and tourism.
My job is to teach and educate people in business and those who promote events and countries and want to gain more U.S. dollars how to attract this vast number of people with disabilities who travel and spend their money on travel.
For more information, visit www.rollingrains.com.
Both Bert Burns and Dr. Scott Rains studied their disabilities and their wheelchairs to discover what advantages they gave them, rather than considering their wheelchairs as disadvantages. Once they realized what they’d learned, and what they could do because of their wheelchairs, each man started and today owns and operates a very successful business.
About the Author: For the last 12 years, John E. Phillips of Vestavia, Alabama, has been a professional blogger for major companies, corporations and tourism associations throughout the nation. During his 24 years as Outdoor Editor for “The Birmingham Post-Herald” newspaper, he published more than 7,000 newspaper columns and sold more than 100,000 of his photos to newspapers, magazines and internet sites. He also hosted a radio show that was syndicated at 27 radio stations; created, wrote and sold a syndicated newspaper column that ran in 38 newspapers for more than a decade; and wrote and sold more than 30 books. Learn more at http://www.nighthawkpublications.com