When Susie Twydell was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), she came up with the idea of WheelchairWorld.org which is a website that pulls a collection of reviews and information about accessible travel information from the internet, so that it can be easily found in one place. Susie is an enthusiastic traveler and wheelchair user herself and in this article, tells us a bit about herself and why she developed WheelchairWorld.org.
I absolutely love travelling, and before my MS diagnosis I had been to over 60 countries, climbed the Himalayas to Everest base camp (5700m) and spent a year on tour with a Latin American rock star. I used to just pack my bags and go. Now I need to know so many more details – are there dropped curbs? Are there any disabled toilets? Are there hills? (and I don’t mean steep hills, any kind of slope is a hill when you are in a wheelchair!) Did you know that cobblestones, which bring rustic charm to an old town, are a complete nightmare for wheelchair users, causing us to be rattled around in our wheelchair like a solitary pound coin in an over enthusiastic charity collectors tin?
This is the kind of information that only other wheelchair users notice and can tell you! Every time I have gone somewhere I have rigorously searched online and found a few snippets of wheelchair user information. So I came up with the idea for WheelchairWorld.org. A place where we can bring all of this information together, add more reviews and make it easy for wheelchair users to find information that they need! Accessibility is pretty good in Britain (globally speaking).
Obviously it is not perfect but most pavements have dropped curbs and disabled toilets can often be found in chain eateries and coffee shops. I do a lot more travelling in the UK visiting the Edinburgh Comedy Festival, the Isle of Wight, the Shakespeare theatre at Stratford-upon-Avon and number of London venues. I recently met the lemurs at Wingham Wildlife Park. An encounter with the meerkats was impossible as they are based in the sand, but with the lemurs, I was able to go right into the enclosure and the lemurs were not at all bothered by my wheelchair, enjoying clambering all over it to get to their food which I was holding!
On Wheelchairworld.org, for the UK, there are already 50+ reviews and resources – including, of course, the The Rough Guide to Accessible Britain! I often search for new information to put on Wheelchairworld.org. And what is great? I find information about places that I would love to visit and are wheelchair accessible! Visit us at www.wheelchairworld.org
About the Motability Scheme
The Motability Scheme exists to give customers, their families and carers greater freedom to get out and do the day-to-day things they need and want to do, by enabling them to exchange all or part of their mobility allowance for leasing a car, scooter or powered wheelchair.
If you’d like us to send you more information about the Motability Scheme, request an information pack below or find out how to join.