Some people with disabilities need to travel with a personal care attendant. What can be done to make the travel experience a more pleasant one for all?

For people with disabilities, everything from dressing in the morning to getting into bed at night is more difficult than it is for most people. Travel can be included in the list of activities that are more challenging for a person with a disability.

Although travel may seem difficult or even impossible, it’s not. When traveling with a personal care attendant (PCA), a person with a disability needs only to know his rights and use a little common sense to make the travel experience easier for himself and his PCA.

Air Travel With a Personal Care Attendant

For example, on January 10, 2008, the Canadian Transportation agency passed “One Person, One Fare,” a ruling that severely disabled passengers would not have to buy an extra ticket for their personal care attendant. The free fare would not be available for disabled persons who simply want company during the flight nor would it be available to those disabled persons who needed assistance on the ground before and after the flight, but not during the flight.

Unfortunately, the “One Person, One Fare” ruling was only in place in Canada and only applied to domestic flights. Airlines in the U.S. still charge for the attendant’s seat. Hopefully, major U.S. carriers and other countries would soon follow the CTA’s lead.

The three major Canadian carriers had one year from the date of the ruling to comply and to come up with a suitable way to determine just who was disabled enough for the policy. There was still no publicly available list of qualifying disabilities; except for quadriplegia, it was up to the airline’s discretion what disabilities qualify.

Be Courteous to the Personal Care Attendant

When traveling with a PCA, it is important to consider her comfort as well.

Yes, a personal care attendant travels with a person with a disability to make things easier for that person as he/she can organize everything particularly use the Taxi Booking Website to find a proper vehicle for transportation. The person with a disability should remember, though, that travel is a stressful time for everyone. Some things to consider to help ease the stress of a PCA:

  • Give the attendant regular breaks.
  • Do not expect her to automatically know everything about the trip.
  • Try not to make things more difficult for her.

Little considerations, such as asking the PCA where she would like to go out for dinner or giving her some time alone to enjoy the hotel’s pool, can go a long way toward making the trip a more enjoyable one.

Other Forms of Travel With a PCA

Traveling by train or by bus is a viable transportation option for many people.

The major bus and train carriers in the United States cannot require that a personal care attendant accompany a person with a disability on his trip. However, if a person with a disability believes that he may need the assistance of a personal nature during the trip, it is strongly suggested that he bring a PCA on the trip. Train and bus crews are not required and, in most cases, are not permitted to provide any kind of assistance that a PCA may give.

While bus lines and passenger trains do not offer a free fare for a personal care attendant traveling with a person with a disability, lines do offer steeply discounted companion fares for PCAs.