I have a daughter who suffers from several disabilities. Although she is now an adult, who loves to travel, it is not as simple as it seems. She doesn’t need wheelchair facilities, but she is hearing impaired, and has travelled with her Lions Hearing Dog. I have written elsewhere on this site about those experiences.
However, there is a service that has started up in the United States that may be able to assist families who travel with special needs children.
Called SpecialGlobe, they have created a comprehensive one stop shopping and travel website for families with special needs children. You can book your flights, receive comprehensive information on hotels, restaurants and activities and how each organization caters to families with special needs children. Families can read trusted reviews by parents who have travelled the globe with their children.
They will share their success and challenges, recommendations, and even their dreams of places they would like to experience in the future.
Currently, there is no one place for parents traveling with special needs to research, review, educate themselves, read special needs destination guides and communicate with other parents like themselves about travel and then book their trip. This site will provide comprehensive information, which will hopefully inspire families to travel better and more often.
One of the co-founders of SpecialGlobe is Meghan Harris who is the very proud mother of a 7-year-old daughter who was born with atypical Rett Syndrome. Meghan knows first-hand of the difficulties of travelling with a special needs child and discovered that there was no central resource for parents like her who wished to take their special needs children on vacation.
There is a surprisingly large number of potential users for the new website’s services. SpecialGlobe’s target audience is the 38.8 million adults in the US whose families are touched by the 11 million diagnosed special needs children in the country. That audience is 16% of all US adults, who collectively spent $600 billion on leisure and travel in 2012.
The website is aimed not just at families, but at travel providers within the travel industry as well.
With a market in the US of families who spend about $600 billion on travel each year there is enough incentive there for canny tourist operators to provide services to meet the needs of those families. If those services are both suitable and reliable, positive comments by users on the SpecialGlobe website will ensure that those compliant businesses will enjoy better prosperity.