It's no secret I've enjoyed travelling to many amazing places. However it is a more hidden secret that lots of other disabled people travel too. The mainstream media and disability campaigners talk about the poverty and suffering. Quite rightly. But what about the thousands of disabled people who can travel? Or the disabled people who can work? Or the disabled people who are looking for love?
In the rest of society there are industries built on helping people with their lifes goals, growth and progress. Because disabled people need funding for care, equipment and adaptions; the biggest need and services in this industry is around our basic needs.
I Co Founded Disability Horizons and Founded Disability United with 3 objectives:
1) To publish stories on the most basic needs to the more aspirational topics
2) To give thousands of people a voice, who previously felt unheard
3) To never charge for our content
Number 3 has been gradually challenged in recent times. We have not and will not charge disabled people for Horizons and United content. But in light of our new project, we feel it's progressive and correct to charge for our Disability Academy courses.
What is Disability Academy?
Along with my friend and colleague George Baker we have founded a new e-learning platform. It will cover topics like travel, independent living, employment and relationships. Each course will be run by an instructor who we've partnered with. Students of the Academy will gain knowledge, skills and contacts for their own goals.
Our aim is that disabled people who can afford the costs will invest in their own future. Just the way non disabled people have to. However for those disabled people who simply cannot afford the costs, we are talking with companies to sponsor our scholarship program. Watch this space!
What is your first course?
Back in April, George and I launched Accessible Traveller. It's a one-stop-shop for disabled people looking to travel. We launched with Accessible Travel Week and showcased our videos with Virgin Atlantic and Holiday Inn.
Our subscription newsletter and discount club surpassed all of our expectations. We had far more subscribers than we dreamt of.
This proved disabled people wanted to invest in their own goals, and in this case go travelling too.
We have improved our offering since April. We've partnered with a great insurance provider, more accessible travel agencies, and travel product manufacturers. We also improved our destination guides. Overall we have generally ensured the value we offer to our members is of the highest quality.
As the potential of Accessible Traveller grew and the idea of Disability Academy was born, we needed more people. I'd been very aware of the accessible travel blogging landscape and knew exactly the people I wanted to join our team!
Rob and Bridget Obey from The Bimblers have been on the same mission as me for a while now. They are more UK based, but universal in their ideas.
Both of our aims is to push the accessible tourism industry into being more inclusive. Meanwhile supporting more disabled people to travel today and in the future.
The Bimblers are going to manage Accessible Traveller by getting great content, marketing it and building strategic alliances. Meanwhile George and I will support them and launch our other courses too.
The sky is the limit!
How do I find out more?
This week we launched Disability Academy and relaunched Accessible Traveller. When you click onto our site, you'll learn all about how Accessible Traveller can inspire, inform, problem solve, save time, and save you cash on your holidays. We hope you like it :-)
Click here to find out more www.disabilityacademy.org.
Speak soon guys!
CEO and Co-Founder Disability Horizons
Co-Founder Disability Academy
Founder Disability United