Strokecast

Episode 062 — Disabled Travel Observations

I’ve been very tired in April this year, and I think it’s because I was very busy in March. In March, I took two major trips that I’m going to talk about today — the JoCo Cruise, which I mention a few weeks back in my interview with Robin Wilson Beattie, and a trip to Pune India, which I talked about in Facebook live.

The JoCo Cruise was awesome as expected. I do sometimes worry that since I have high expectations that it meets, that I’m not walking away with the over the top feelings of awesomeness that some people do. Or maybe my affect is just a little flatter these days due to the combination of my stroke and meds.

This year, there appeared to be more folks on the boat with visible disabilities than in years past. And we had more folks with both visible and invisible disabilities at the meetup for folks with disabilities. In general, it’s a really positive environment filled with helpful, caring people. If you like board games, nerdy things, or generally nerdy people, come join us next year. You can visit Jococruise.com for more details.

I did manage to fall during the cruise while visiting Tortola. A post I chose to lean against objected to being leaned upon and moved out of the way. I fell, suffered only minor bumps and bruises and discovered an important lesson for folks who want to help those with disabilities.

If a disabled person looks like they might need help, it’s okay to offer assistance. Then listen to them. If they decline your help, BELIEVE THEM. They know better than you what will help and what will not help.

My trip to India was also an amazing experience. I was there on business so I guess I am now technically and International Business Consultant. I know, big impressive sounding words, huh?

Everyone was super helpful to me. Folks rushed ahead to open doors for me. I dropped my cane in the hotel lobby, and someone literally ran over to pick it up. At the buffet, I had table service most days. The breakfast egg chef apologized profusely for breaking the yolk on my sunny side up egg and wanted to throw it out and start again. I had to convince him it was fine.

So my experience was great.

But I did not see anyone else that week in India with a visible disability outside of the airport.

I shouldn’t be too shocked because what little I saw of the streets did not appear to be wheelchair friendly. Building had all sorts of little steps. Elevators were tiny.

Folks also didn’t seem comfortable with the topic and would change the subject if we got close to it.

I’m not sure what that says about the broader culture or life for those with disabilities in the area. But again, I saw only a small fraction of the city.

Hack of the Week

Gianna Rojas had more hacks to share from her one-handed life.

You can get magnetic clips for necklaces. They can attach to existing clasps or replace them. They make it possible to put on a necklace without using the regular clasp.

You can ask your jewelry store to put them on if you can’t do it your self.

You can hear more from Gianna here.

Links

Where do we go from here?

  • What has your experience of travelling with disabilities been like? Let us know in the comments below.
  • Share this episode with a friend colleague or relative by giving them the link http://strokecast.com/travel.
  • Subscribe to Strokecast for free in your favorite podcast app.
  • Don’t get best…get better.

 

Strokecast is the stroke podcast where a Gen X stroke survivor explores rehab, recovery, the frontiers of neuroscience and one-handed banana peeling by helping stroke survivors, caregivers, medical providers and stroke industry affiliates connect and share their stories.

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