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Abstract

Although accessibility in the travel industry has improved since the passing of ADA in 1990, individuals traveling in wheelchairs still find travel is not universally accessible. To better understand what the travel industry can do to improve the services to people with disabilities, this study conducted a total of 83 interviews to identify travel service gaps among people with spinal cord injury, their family members/caregivers, therapists, and travel agents who provide service to people with disabilities. Interviews were conducted and analyzed from May to August 2015, and results indicate that although respondents believe overall accessibility has significantly improved in the past 25 years, there is still a lack of travel services that understand the needs of wheelchair users. Travel businesses will have to be creative, not only in creating ways to eliminate the travel hassles for wheelchair users, but also to reduce the costs of servicing travelers with special needs.

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Travel Service Gaps for Wheelchair Users

Although accessibility in the travel industry has improved since the passing of ADA in 1990, individuals traveling in wheelchairs still find travel is not universally accessible. To better understand what the travel industry can do to improve the services to people with disabilities, this study conducted a total of 83 interviews to identify travel service gaps among people with spinal cord injury, their family members/caregivers, therapists, and travel agents who provide service to people with disabilities. Interviews were conducted and analyzed from May to August 2015, and results indicate that although respondents believe overall accessibility has significantly improved in the past 25 years, there is still a lack of travel services that understand the needs of wheelchair users. Travel businesses will have to be creative, not only in creating ways to eliminate the travel hassles for wheelchair users, but also to reduce the costs of servicing travelers with special needs.