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Accessibility in Action

Accessibility in Action / Tips for Planning a Trip or an Activity

Sometimes you have to push yourself to get out and get involved in the community. Here are a few tips to get you started. 

  1. Get in the mindset of thinking about things YOU want to do. This may be the most difficult step in the whole process. We, as people with disabilities, are oftentimes told we cannot do some things, experience financial limitations, and/or lack the supports we need. In this step, try to remove yourself from attitudes and limitations. Maybe you want to go to Europe, skydive, or go camping. Maybe you want a pet or to sing karaoke. Think of things YOU want to do that make you happy, not things others want you to do. 

    For example: I have a pet dog and also I go out at night. Both of these things some people have strong negative opinions on and some people openly share them with me. I'm of the philosophy of people having the right opinions, but some of them are not based on reality.
     
  2. Think about the things needed to make what YOU want to happen. Again, try to remove yourself from attitudes and limitations. Instead of thinking about what you have, think about what you need. 

    How much money do I need to do this? 
    What support (from other people) do I need to do this? 
    What transportation do I need to do this? 
    What accommodations do I need to do this?
    It is perfectly fine not to have all the answers! 
     
  3. Gather resources. Need money to do things you want? There are lots of safe ways to make money. Sell stuff online, pet/house sit for people, etc. Need support from other people? Important: When looking for this support, sometimes we get caught up looking for service systems for all the answers - don't do this! Instead, also find people who share your interests! Use Google, contact clubs/associations, etc. Need transportation? I won't lie; this is difficult. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is almost 30 years old. Yet, lot of shuttles services are inaccessible. Know your rights and don't be afraid to tell people their responsibilities: Same is true for the accommodations you need.  
     
  4. Revise your plans as needed, but focus on you want. Maybe that trip to Tahoe ain't happening this year. Could a trip to the Smokies be okay for now? As long as you tried Steps #1-#3, seeking alternatives is fine. 
     
  5. Have fun! 

    Credit: Dr. Tracy Rackensperger, trackens@uga.edu
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