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An SNG Certified Accessible Travel Advocate

by Lux Joseph 15. November 2013

Traveling with a disability is not the easiest. Depending on where you are traveling to, there may or may not be accessible hotel rooms, vehicles, or access points to meet your needs. It is important to research this information in advance prior to travel so that you can plan ahead and ensure you have the necessary resources to make your travel plans most comfortable. At Commercial Medical Escorts, our travel department has a local travel professional that is an SNG Certified Accessible Travel Advocate. This is a huge resource to CME so that we can ensure the accommodations and arrangements made for passengers returning home best fit the needs of the patient.

Our travel department received certification from Special Needs Group, Inc. (www.specialneedsgroup.com), a global provider of special needs equipment for the travel industry, to specialize in special needs/accessible travel. To earn the distinction, they participated in Special Needs Group’s in-depth online 3 module certification program.

Through the program, agents gain an understanding of the special needs/accessible travel market. They learn about the best equipment to rent for special needs travel, ways to market special needs/accessible travel, and more.

Nationwide, one in seven persons has some form of disability, and one in five families is touched. By specializing in special needs/accessible travel, last name has the ability to help this large percentage of the population travel in an enjoyable, safe and efficient manner.

At Commercial Medical Escorts understanding our population is very important. By understanding the needs of each of our patients we are better able to make decisions and transport arrangements that meet their needs. As new flight configurations develop, our travel department is keeping us updated so that we only deliver the best routing available for our patients.

“Through Special Needs’ courses, I not only learned how to assist individuals with special needs to enjoy travel, but I found some very valuable new ways to serve the needs of all of my clients,” said McNamara. “The population, as well as the travel industry itself, has undergone major changes in the past few years. By completing this program, I have the ability to stay on the cutting edge of these changes, and create opportunities for my clients.”

About Special Needs Group, Inc.

Special Needs Group, Inc. is the leading global provider of wheelchair rentals, scooter rentals, oxygen rentals and other special needs equipment rentals. It also offers a broad range of special needs equipment for purchase. Recommended by the world's major cruise lines for superior service and value, Special Needs Group also services guests visiting hotels, resorts, theme parks and convention centers.

Special Needs Group is the industry's only total special needs travel solution. It is located at 302 NW 1st Street, Dania Beach, FL 33004. For more information, visit www.specialneedsgroup.com or call 1-800-513-4515.

Disney World Implements a New Disability Policy

by Lux Joseph 11. October 2013

On a daily basis, CME is working with individuals with disabilities. Those individuals who have special needs and disabilities require special assistance from our team and we focus on delivering individualized quality service to meet those needs. As we have mentioned before, every traveler has different needs and we tailor each of our transports ensure their travel home is comfortable. Breaking news from the Walt Disney World Company this week was presented to those travelers with disabilities about a policy change at their theme parks and how those travelers will be affected in their upcoming visits.

Obviously this policy does not affect Commercial Medical Escorts, Inc. when we are transporting patients around the world, but I think it is important to recognize policies that are affecting the population that we assist each and every day. On Wednesday, Disney introduced a new policy for those travelers with disabilities to reduce the number of people that have been abusing the policy. Over the years numerous guests to the resort have hired tour guides that are disabled to go to the front of the line of every ride attraction. For those individuals with a disability, this seems reasonable and appropriate, but when people start faking a disability, utilizing crutches or other disability tools, or hiring a disabled tour guide to zip to the front of every line the policy gets abused. That is exactly what happened and Disney World is taking action and taking a firm position to address the situation.

It is a sad and disappointing situation for those travelers with true disabilities however, the Disney World Company believe they are effectively finding a solution. With any change to policies and procedures there will always be someone who is not satisfied with the result, but it is important for the resort to look at different perspectives and find the best system to assist the travelers with special needs. It may appear that the disabled travelers are being punished for actions completed by those who exploited the program, but at this time the program has only been in place for three days and I believe improvements will continue to take place with this program.

The new system is similar to the Fast Pass program that is currently in place for guests to return to an attraction ride at a later designated time to reduce the wait time in long lines. The new Disability Access Card will act similar to that program.  The Walt Disney World website outlines the program as the following:

The DAS Card is designed to accommodate guests who aren’t able to wait in a conventional queue environment due to a disability (including non-apparent disabilities). A Disability Access Service Card will be issued at Guest Relations main entrance locations and will offer guests a return time for attractions based on the current wait time. As soon as the Guest finishes one attraction, they can receive a return time for another. This service can be used in addition to Disney’s FASTPASS Service and Disney FastPass+ service. (www.disneypakrs.disney.go.com)

Everyone has their opinion about the program but the purpose of the program is to eliminate the abuse that the system has had over the years. Disney takes pride in ensuring that each guest is treated as an individual and providing assistance to those travelers with disabilities will always be a focus of the program. Each and every case will be handled by Disney on a case by case basis.

Commercial Medical Escorts takes the time to ensure our travelers with disabilities have a positive experience on their way home with our medical escort. From airline tickets, airport accommodations, ground transportation, and helping the patient get settled into their home/residence, CME takes time to make sure our patients have everything they need to travel comfortably.

Our in-house travel department has travel professionals who are accessible travel advocates certified by Special Needs Group www.specialneedsgroup.com, the leading global provider of special needs equipment for the travel industry. These individuals have unique, specialized knowledge about how to help individuals with disabilities enjoy a wonderful, hassle-free and memorable trip. By having our travel department specialized in this area, we can ensure our patients and clients, that we are doing everything possible to provide the highest level of patient care.

 


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