I’ve always been a fan of exotic sports cars… You know, Ferrari’s, Lamborghini’s, Aston Martin’s. I wouldn’t necessarily categorize myself as a “gearhead” per se but coming from an art and design background, I’ve always appreciated the design of such a machine that is not only aesthetically beautiful but powerful.
Well, a little bit ago, a friend of mine made one of my dreams come true!
He’s lucky enough to own a few exotic sports cars and asked me these magical words: “would you like to go for a ride in my Enzo sometime?”
Read More …
Over this past Thanksgiving, my parents came down to visit. It was the first time we had Thanksgiving together in easily 10+ years and we enjoyed every minute of it plowing through Turkey, hanging out and catching up!
My dad, Jim Skeesuck, has always been one of my best champions alongside my mother, Mavis. So, I took the opportunity to have a short “heart-to-heart” with my dad and ask him point-blank about what it is like having a son with a physical disability and how it has impacted him.
Read More …
First off, I want to give a HUGE thanks to the Good Morning San Diego show on KUSI for having me & Wes Anderson (Accessible San Diego) on the air! We both had a blast and was glad to help out!
KUSI.com – KUSI News – San Diego CA – News, Weather, PPR
If you are a viewer and was wanting to know more information about the tips provided on the morning segment, I have included them below for easy reference:
Tip #1: Plan ahead!
This is the cardinal rule for all people living with disabilities who want to travel. By planning ahead, you will greatly minimize potential problems that could arise. Traveling with a disability requires forethought and a positive mental attitude. If you have both of those, you will minimize problems and have a better experience all around!
Tip #2: Give yourself more time than usual
If you are flying during this holiday season, I recommend giving yourself AT LEAST 2 hours for domestic travel & 3 hours for international travel. You have to allow yourself enough time to check in, get through security, use the restroom facilities, get to your gate and get onto the aircraft. It’s always better to have a little extra time than to have no time at all!
Tip #3: Bags with medical equipment are FREE!
YES! If you are flying and you require special medical equipment like battery chargers, oxygen tanks, mobility-based equipment, etc., you are allowed to bring those bags and airlines are not allowed to charge you for those! Please make sure that you label your bags accordingly because it is more than likely, they will be searched.
For a complete list of what you can & cannot bring, please refer to your specific airline or visit tsa.gov for more information.
Tip #4: Call your airline 24-48 hours before you fly
If you have any special needs when you fly such as a aisle chair (small wheelchair for loading on/off of an aircraft), assistance at the gate, or assistance getting through the airport, Make sure you contact your airline so they are aware ahead of time. The holidays can be really crazy for airline personnel so the more you are proactive, the better.
Tip #5: Call the TSA Cares Hotline for questions regarding airline travel
TSA Cares is a toll free hotline specifically created for people with disabilities. Simply call (855) 787-2227 72 hours prior to traveling with questions about screening policies, procedures and what to expect at the security checkpoint. The TSA Cares helpline is available Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 11 p.m. (EST). Saturday, Sunday and Holidays from 9 a.m. – 8 p.m. (EST).
Travelers who are deaf or hard of hearing can use a relay service to contact TSA Cares or can e-mail TSA-ContactCenter@dhs.gov.
Tip #6: Travel light*
Order gifts online, and have them ship directly to your end destination or you could mail your packages ahead of time via FedEx, UPS, etc. You can also take advantage of the annual “Free Shipping Day” on December 17th when approximately 1500 merchants guarantee free delivery by Christmas Eve.
Important: If you are flying, don’t wrap the gifts you bring – Airlines have the right to open any unwrapped packages.
Tip #7: Consult with your physician
If you have serious medical needs, always consult with your physician PRIOR to traveling of any kind. They will evaluate then let you know what your options are such as if you should fly or drive, etc. Never take your health for granted and make sure you always have your medical information & take proper medications with you.
Tip #8: To save time, utilize the “wheelchair/stroller que” when going through airport security
For people living with disabilities, going through airport security is often one of the most challenging parts of traveling by air. It is chaotic (at best), crowded and can take forever, especially if you are in a wheelchair.
In order to save time, look off to either side when you approach the security line for a sign that says “wheelchair/stroller access”. If you cannot find the proper line, ask the first TSA agent you come across.
Tip #9: If driving, check road conditions or take the back roads*
Nothing is worse than sitting in slow-going traffic, white knuckled and your boiling point is at its greatest. The holiday season is one of the most heavily congested times of the year.
If you have some time on your hands, why not leave the major highways behind, and hit the back roads for serendipitous pleasures? (These 7 iconic drives are some of the best in the U.S. any time of year.)
Of all the holiday travel tips, this one will help you to focus on the joys of the season most of all.
Tip #10: Speak up!
You are your own best advocate. If you feel you have been mistreated or overlooked in any way shape or form, say so! People are not mind readers and it is your responsibility to let others know how you feel or if you have any particular need. Be firm but polite.
Finally, I hope that you enjoy these tips and make sure you leave your comments below. I would love to hear your feedback!
One of the organizations who I wholeheartedly support is the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). They have been a part of my life over the past 12 years and they continue to do so. It is one of those organizations that absolutely loves what they do and love who they work for. And, I have been blessed to not only receive support from the MDA but also volunteer and see firsthand the difference this organization makes.
This past summer, I was lucky enough to be interviewed for the San Diego Padres “Blueprint” magazine (August 17-29, 2012 / issue 09) on how the MDA is leading the way in cure-driven efforts to fight muscle disease.
Below is the article originally written by Leslie Filson.
Read More …
A a few months ago, I attended a travel Meetup group here in San Diego called “Travel Well”. At that event, there were a couple different speakers presenting on travel efficiencies and one of those speakers was Angel Castellanos.
Angel has over 10 years experience in the luggage & travel industry and he’s currently a Travel Ambassador for SoCal Sales, a nationally respected sales agency in the travel goods industry.
He travels frequently and speaks throughout Southern California on the area of packing, travel skills and various destinations on what they have to offer. Angel is truly passionate about travel and has visited over 35 countries and counting.
Read More …
About a year and a half ago, I was perusing around the inter-webs on accessible travel and came across Ashley Lyn Olson. At that time, she was just starting a new website called wheelchairtraveling.com.
Upon further Internet stalking, I realized we both had some similarities in what we are trying to achieve by helping People with Disabilities learn how to travel, but from different standpoints. This had me completely intrigued and I knew I had to reach out to her. After all, she is doing an amazing thing, right?
Read More …
A couple weeks ago, I received a phone call from a 14-year-old middle schooler whose name was Joseph. At first, I was a little confused on why a 14-year-old was calling me in the first place, but after a few minutes of hearing him out I was immediately interested.
You see, Joseph has a group of friends who are avid skateboarders and one of his close friends has a rare form of Muscular Dystrophy. Brendan is also 14 years old, loves skateboarding, but due to his disability, needs to use a power wheelchair for mobility purposes. Therefore, he can’t skate.
Read More …
Meet, Plan, Go! 2012: A Nationwide Event Helping People Realize Their Travel Dreams
If you are tired of two weeks of vacation time and want to break away from the cube to explore the world, then join The Disabled Traveler and other experts to teach you exactly how on Tuesday, October 16th, 2012 @ Moby Dick Fish Market and Grill.
- MEET like-minded, supportive travelers in person.
- Get resources and tips to PLAN your career break travels.
- Find inspiration to GO by hearing other career breaker’s stories.
- FREE giveaways and the opportunity to win door prizes!
- An opportunity to TALK directly with travel experts.
Read More …
Jeremy McGhee and I go way back. We met each other in college almost 15+ years ago. Back then, we were both able-bodied (me, mostly), both young and had our futures ahead of us.
Shortly after we both graduated, Jeremy’s life drastically changed. In September 2001, he was in a horrific motorcycle accident. He was hit at an intersection by a car running a stop sign; leaving him paralyzed from the waist down.
Read More …