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Summer 2023

In this issue:

Guest Editor's Note

Marina Apperley opens up on dysautonomia

Though I was born in Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada, I am a county girl who grew up in Prince Edward County and the Belleville area (part of the Quinte region) from the age of ten. I still live in the area, in Belleville.

Traveling with dysautonomia

How fragile we are

By Nancy Baye

It’s embarrassing to admit, but up until a few months ago, I didn’t know what dysautonomia was. Its name might be a tongue-twister, but it’s a life-twister, a devastating disease that is under-recognized.

Meredith Aleigha Wells paves a path for disabled performers

Meredith Aleigha Wells (they/she) is a touring actor, singer, dancer and writer, best known for their performance as Punky Who in How the Grinch Stole Christmas the Musical, marking the first performance by a wheelchair user in a Broadway National Tour.

Ilana Jacqueline on chronic illness and medical gaslighting

AJ: Tell us about yourself ? IJ: I’m an author, patient and patient advocacy strategist. I was diagnosed with primary immune deficiency disease at 19, after struggling with why I had so many infections that wouldn’t fully go away. Though it was great to finally have a diagnosis

Faith Littlejohn – a lighthouse for people with dysautonomia

Faith Littlejohn has two autonomic nervous system disorders, postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome and neurocardiogenic syncope. Both are forms of dysautonomia. As a senior in high school, Faith started spreading awareness about her conditions on social media and soon gained a large following. She continues to spread awareness

Summer Dashe reports on ruthless chronic illnesses

Journalist Summer Dashe is a voice for patients who have long been ignored and misunderstood. Her desire to make the world better for people with disabilities drives her to share even the most personal parts of her life. Her efforts have led to viral recognition, an Emmy nomination and her unrelenting drive.

Family Fun, No Limits

Better together – Disability parent Q&A

By Jennifer Allen

Q: Transportation while traveling. How do you get around with a wheelchair? Do you rent a large or accessible van? What about public transportation? A: Not all wheelchairs travel the same! Here’s what some of our readers had to say. I added my own notes below them, labeled JA.

Five considerations when planning a trip with your special needs child

By Christine E. Staple Ebanks

As a mother of four children, including my son Nathan, who has cerebral palsy, I have experienced firsthand how daunting it can be to travel with a child with special needs.

Your first trip as a family with disabilities

By Jennifer Allen

“Ain’t nobody got time for that” seems to be the general vibe from parents of kids with disabilities when you ask about travel plans. There’s a lot that goes into planning a trip when you have multiple needs to consider.

Adaptive Adventures

Three amazing girls, three wheelchairs, three feeding tubes, three communications devices and an incredible spirit of adventure!

By Jen Mendenhall

We went camping at Ridgway State Park (RSP) in Ridgway, CO. We chose to go there because of its accessibility options.

My paddle boarding experience

By Ashton Dunford

The picture was taken at The Spanish Oaks reservoir in Utah very close to my house. The name of the snow-capped mountain in the background is Mt. Nebo and it was actually 80 degrees that day. That’s considered warm weather here in Utah so it was a perfect day

Craig DeMartino climbs to new heights

In 2002, Craig’s life changed forever when he accidentally dropped 100 feet on a climb. He is now a motivational speaker and continues to be a climber. Find him at or on Instagram @craigdem

Traveling with Autism

Shalese Heard, the Autistic Travel Goddess

How has traveling impacted your life as a person with autism? Traveling has given me more confidence, expanded my social skills and brought out the best in me when meeting new people. It has indeed been a positive and enriching experience.


The Edmonds – Finding the answers as they go

When Ken and Cheryl Edmonds couldn’t find answers to their simple questions, they started creating content about accessible travel. That content informs people with challenges, their friends and families, so they can travel better and avoid pitfalls.

The power of accessible travel

By Samantha Ellsworth

Erika Rivers and Laura Oftedahl met just once by phone before traveling 8,000 miles and exploring New Zealand together. Their first conversation ranged from food preferences, to favorite hikes, to Laura’s time in the Paralympics.

Disability rights advocate Kelly Narowski on air travel for those in wheelchairs

Kelly Narowski is a disability rights advocate. In our last issue, Kelly shared her adaptive sports experiences. Here she shares tips and insights on air traveling for wheelchair users. AJ: Tell us how you handle traveling with your wheelchair

Portugal – Pretty amazing, fairly accessible

By Fred J. Maahs, Jr.

I first met Jose Antonio Bourdain, yes, from that Bourdain family, in November of 2019. We were both invited to speak at the first Dubai Accessible Tourism International Summit. I listened to his presentation about his company, Tourism for All

Unleash the Accessible Wanderlust with Jamie Santillo

By Alice Williams

Close your eyes and imagine a world where limitations are merely steppingstones to extraordinary experiences. Picture a journey that transcends boundaries, defies expectations, and celebrates the triumph of the human spirit. This is the realm of accessible travel

Exploring Boundless Horizons: Wheelchair-Friendly US Vacation Destinations

When planning a vacation, one of the first questions you may ponder is if the destination is wheelchair friendly. However, with the growing need for inclusivity and awareness in travel, wheelchair vacations are becoming increasingly popular.

Blogger Spotlights

Slaven Skrobot

Slaven Škrobot is an adventurer, travel writer, travel blogger and humanitarian. Despite his quadriplegia, he decided to live life to the fullest and travel the world. Salven writes about his travels and the problems he faces on the blog

Kate O’Malley and Mark Williams – Vagrants of the World Travel

A sense of adventure brought Kate and Mark together. They met while working for the Australian Antarctic Division. Mark was the station leader at Mawson Station for more than a year, and Kate was part of the voyage management team delivering


Hi there, my name is Asmae! I’m a 24-year-old travel blogger from the Netherlands, and my passion lies in exploring the world while advocating for wheelchair accessibility. I live with LGMD2D, a form of muscular dystrophy, which has given me a unique perspective on the challenges
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