With summer upon us, everyone is looking to take a vacation. As a person with vision loss, you may be nervous to travel independently or even with a friend. Former client, JeanAnn, can relate. Her vision loss was limiting her activities until she learned “life-changing” skills at CVI that got her back on the road to adventure. Her travels have taken her to “15 different airports- South Africa, Zimbabwe, Canada. The whole world is within my grasp.”
You may think of her as brave but really she prepared so that she could confidently travel and enjoy new experiences. CVI orientation and mobility training can boost skills for navigating unfamiliar places with safe mobility practices and how to use handy smartphone apps to serve as an extra set of eyes.
Traveling by plane requires advanced planning as a person with vision loss. You have two options in booking your flight: call the airline or book online. You may need additional assistive technology training to make your flight arrangements online. You can request special accommodations during the booking process, such as extra time boarding the plane to orient yourself with your surroundings. As your travel date approaches, you can call the airline and ask that an employee guides you through the airport from check-in to security, security to your gate, and onto the plane. The same services can be requested once you land at your destination.
Airport TSA security allows those who are blind or have low vision to request assistance with getting through the security gate. An officer can help you show your I.D. and boarding pass, put your personal items on the X-ray belt, and guide you through the metal detectors. If you are a white cane user, you can keep your cane to help you safely move through the metal detectors, but please know that TSA will then need to inspect you and your cane as it will trigger the detector. The officer can then gather your belongings from the X-ray belt and guide you to an airline employee who will help you to your gate.
Don’t let your vision loss hold you back from the vacation of your dreams this summer! CVI is here to help you learn skills that will help relieve any travel anxiety and help you be prepared to live and travel independently. Visit cviga.org/services today to learn more about our services. Be sure to stop by the VisAbility Store before you go to pick up a new pair of sunglasses!
Learn more tips about flying and travelling by other means as a person with low vision at https://www.allaboutvision.com/resources/helpful-travel-guide-tips-for-visually-impaired-or-blind/.