GLOBAL ACCESS NEWS TRAVEL E-ZINE
VOLUME XI, NUMBER 2, February 2010
Copyright © 2010 Global Access News

http://www.globalaccessnews.com/

Please note: Any Internet links mentioned in this e-zine were verified as functioning at the time of this issue. However, web sites and e-mail addresses change frequently, so changes may have occurred after the above date.

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Welcome to the Feb. 2010 Global Access News Travel E-Zine Thanks to everyone for taking the time to write us and share your travel tips and experiences.

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CONTENTS

1. ROME, ITALY: WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE COMFY @ COLLISEUM FLAT
2. VENICE, ITALY: CRUISE VENETIAN LAGOON ON MINUETTO
3. WHEEL AWAY HONG KONG GUIDE AVAILABLE
4. FLYING COMPANIONS EASE TRAVEL CONCERNS
5.  WHIRLWIND WHEELCHAIRS HELP HAITI
6. RAVES FOR SANIBEL ISLAND’S SANDDOLLAR

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1. ROME, ITALY: WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE COMFY @ COLLISEUM FLAT

Salvatore Rinaldi announced the availability of his newly remodeled wheelchair accessible three-bedroom, two-bath flat in the historical center of Rome, Italy. The ground-floor flat is inside an old courtyard, within a five-minute walk of the Coliseum. Quiet and safe, his flat is suitable for six to seven guests, and guide dogs are welcome.

Rinaldi remodeled the apartment with wheelchair access in mind. The flat's doorways are 80cm, and one bathroom has a 90cm doorway. His flat features one wheelchair accessible master bedroom with a king-sized bed and a spacious bathroom, complete with a bidet, a low sink, a large roll-in shower with a handheld shower spray and a bath chair. Handrails are located in the shower and by the toilet.

The second accessible bedroom has one French bed. The inaccessible third bedroom has two single beds. The living room offers a modern sofa bed, and upon request, an additional bed can be made available. The spacious dining room table seats eight people. The flat’s amenities include air conditioning, satellite TV, DVD, a modern kitchen, complete with a washing machine, microwave, dishwasher, toaster, refrigerator-freezer, electric oven, dishes and utensils. Upon request, a cooking service is available for a buffet or an Italian dinner or lunch. 

The building features a front desk service and is near a green grocery, a tobacco shop, bars and a supermarket. Three free disabled public parking places are available outside the gate. The main gate of the building is always kept free and clear, so cars can let disabled guests off  in front of the building. Both the building gate and the apartment entrance are accessible, and with the help of an attendant, the guests can open the gate to 150cm.  Public transport (taxis, buses, the metro, the underground and "sightseeing" tourist coaches) are available in front of the building. An Internet Cafe (open from 8 a.m. - 1 a.m.) is available on the left side of the main gate of the building.

Rinaldi rents by the weekend, three days, or by the week. His weekly rates are 790,00 € (low season) to 1290,00 € (high season),  all inclusive. To determine if Comfy @ Colisseum Roma meets your access needs, contact Salvatore Rinaldi at comfyatcolisseum@hotmail.it or on his mobile: +393385058661.To view photos of the flat, visit http://www.globalaccessnews.com/romecomfyatcolliseum.htm

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2. VENICE, ITALY: CRUISE VENETIAN LAGOON ON MINUETTO

Now wheelchair users can enjoy the dazzling views of the Venetian Lagoon as they cruise aboard Le Boat’s Minuetto (available in March 2010). The Minuetto (owned by Le Boat, a self-drive European boating company) sleeps six passengers and uses an internal lifting platform and an adapted wheelchair to transport wheelchair users. To view the Minuetto's  layout and photos to determine if it fits your access needs, visit http://www.leboat.com/flotte/mnto

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3. WHEEL AWAY HONG KONG GUIDE AVAILABLE

Hong Kong resident Sarah Fuller wrote her guide book in order to provide her parents with itineraries that her wheelchair- using father could navigate. Over the years, Fuller has travelled throughout Asia with her parents, and for each trip, she created a diverse, action-packed itinerary, which entailed booking all the flights and hotel accommodations.

Fuller writes: "My first city guide on Hong Kong shows how to plan travel that meets your needs. Whether you’re a nervous first-timer or an experienced, independent wheelchair traveller, it is possible to have a safe and enjoyable trip. If you have a disability (or you are travelling as a caregiver for someone with disability), it can be a real challenge to plan your trip, travel to your destination and then manage the daily realities of moving around a new city. My book offers a variety of information, practical tips and suggestions. It covers things to be aware of before you arrive, how to get around, where to stay, things to see and do, accessible dining and tailor-made day trips. I personally did all the research and visited over 100 hotels to conduct site visits on the accessibility of guest rooms and the public areas of the hotels. This was in addition to visiting many restaurants and other places of interest in Hong Kong. Having travelled extensively with my father, I have experienced the challenges first-hand and want to get across the message that wheelchairs and travel do mix. Life does not stop because of a stroke or a serious illness.”

Learn more about Fuller's Wheel Away Hong Kong on our Accessible Travel Books page at http://www.globalaccessnews.com/books.htm  or at www.wheelawaydisabledtravel.com

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4.  FLYING COMPANIONS EASE TRAVEL CONCERNS

Anyone in need of a helpful companion to fly with, may consider contacting www.flyingcompanions.com Their services are available for children, seniors and disabled travelers.

Flying companions help with luggage, wheelchairs, flight check-in security, boarding, connecting flights, bathroom trips, wheelchair assistance, and much more.

To learn how they can ease your travels, visit their web site or call 1-888-350-8886.

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5. WHIRLWIND WHEELCHAIRS HELP HAITI

Kudos to San Francisco State University student engineers for sending their specially designed Whirlwind Wheelchairs to newly disabled Haitians. For over 20 years, the university engineers have been designing wheelchairs for disabled people in Third World countries.

Learn more about their Whirlwind Wheelchair program, by visiting http://www.wheelchairsforhaiti.org

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6.  RAVES FOR SANIBEL SANDDOLLAR

Philip S. offered the following rave review of the Sanddolar condo in Sanibel Island, FL, which was recently added to our Accessible Accommodation page at http://www.globalaccessnews.com/accommodations.htm

He writes: “I stayed for one week at Sanddoller C 201 the first week of Jan. 2010.  I am a 70- year old, 335 lb. man with one leg and I use a 22-inch wheelchair. I have been vacationing at Sanibel Island for 30 years, ten of them since I lost my leg. This particular unit, Sanddollar C 201, exceeds by far any condo where I have stayed as to wheelchair accessibility. This is the ONLY place where I have been able to roll right up to the bathroom facilities .No more using a urinal and getting someone to dump it .Roll right up to the shower and transfer to a shower seat. Wow! This is almost like being at home. I can't say enough about this condo. Why couldn’t I find this place 10 years ago when I lost my leg! And for any doubters, this is not a paid endorsement; I’m just trying to help other one-legged vets.

Editor’s note: Sanddollar owners, Kenneth and Alice Piech, added to Philip's comments. They wrote:

“We are pleased that Phil appreciates the accessibility features, and Alice and I still want to make our condo more accessible. Phil and his wife drove to our condo in October and inspected it to insure that it would actually meet his accessibility needs. As he told me then, not every wheelchair accessible place is as accessible as advertised. During his visit Phil, noticed that there was no handicapped parking available and mentioned this concern to me, so I brought it to the attention of our condo association. Long story made short, we now have a handicapped parking spot, which Phil was the first guest to use.  He reported that it worked very well for him.  So as we get feedback from additional guests, we will continue to work on improving the accessibility of our condo.”

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