Inclusive Tourism: Traveling with a child with special needs
Traveling with children is usually fun and very rewarding for the whole family but it also represents a challenge for parents. If we add to the equation that our child has any special needs…the challenge increases!!
The tourist offer has improved in terms of accessibility but there is not a wide range of services promoting the concept of inclusion and this is more than offering a specialized service – also necessary and valuable.
What is Inclusive Tourism?
- According to Dr. Scott Rains, an active promoter of inclusive tourism, it is a global movement to ensure the full social participation of all people with disabilities in travel, citizenships and cultural contribution -and in the process- to assure the same for everyone else.
- Institute for Human Centered Design explains this concept “Inclusive Tourism” as the systematic application of Universal Design by the travel and hospitality industry at every stage of a product, service, or policy life cycle; and “Universal Design” is a framework for the design of places, things, information, communication and policy to be usable by the widest range of people operating in the widest range of situations without special or separate design. Universal Design is human-centered design of everything with everyone in mind. Universal Design is also called Inclusive Design, Design-for-All and Lifespan Design. It is not a design style but an orientation to any design process that starts with a responsibility to the experience of the user.
- Tourism for All, is a concept used by the World Tourism Organization and it means a form of tourism that involves a collaborative process among stakeholders that enables people with access requirements, including mobility, vision, hearing and cognitive dimensions of access, to function independently and with equity and dignity through the delivery of universally designed tourism products, services and environments.
Got it! But…Where could I find tips for traveling with my kid with special needs?
Fortunately they are more families sharing their experiences through their blogs or through websites targeted at families helping other parents to make their trip easier and fun for the entire family! Here some of those sites:
EVERYONE needs a break in the summer! Children & families work hard during the year so… keep your positive attitude and enjoy your break 😎