Resources for Special Needs Travel in Florida
As the nation’s top travel destination, Florida has extensive resources for travelers with special needs.
Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality, or SATH, provides recommendations for travel agents and other resources to help travelers with disabilities plan their vacations. 561-451-0052, sath.org
Able Trust offers helpful links to disability resources throughout the state from Florida’s Governor’s Alliance for the Employment of Citizens with Disabilities. 850-224-4493, www.abletrust.org
Florida Disabled Outdoors Association provides resources on disabled outdoor travel in Florida. www.fdoa.org
American Diabetes Association offers information on traveling with diabetes, as well as a list of hospitals that offer services to diabetic travelers. 800-342-2383, www.diabetes.org
Dialysis Finder’s web site lists center locations and maps by zip code. 866-889-6019, www.dialysisfinder.com
Care Medical Equipment, Orlando: Wheelchair and scooter rental, oxygen, other medical equipment. 800-741-2282, 407-856-2273, www.caremedicalequipment.com
Scootaround Inc.: Available in 120 Florida cities. 888-441-7575, www.scootaround.com
Family Rentals: Wheelchair and scooter rental, wheelchair ramps, shower chairs, and other medical equipment. Available in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties. familyrentals.com
Browse our visitor information listings for destinations that offer beach wheelchairs and other services or information for the physically challenged. Unlike regular wheelchairs, these “beach wheels” have special tires that don’t get stuck in sand. Beach chairs are often provided at no charge and are available to anyone unable to walk or those who possess a handicapped automobile tag.
Accessible Vehicle Rental
Most major car rental companies including Hertz and Dollar Rent A Car, can, with advance notice, provide hand-control cars.
Accessible Vans of America:
- Miami location (Sunset Mobility), 800-240-9246, www.accessiblevans.com
- Southwest Florida locations: Fort Myers 239-936-6333, www.oceanconversions.com
- Available in Orlando, Bradenton, Sarasota, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Daytona Beach and Melbourne, 800-242-4990
- Fort Lauderdale, Miami, West Palm Beach, Pensacola, Jacksonville, Fort Myers and Naples, 800-637-7577; www.wheelchairgetaways.com
Disabled Parking Permits
Section 316.1958 Florida Statutes provides that motor vehicles displaying a license plate or parking permit issued to a disabled person by any other state or district subject to laws of the United States shall be recognized as a valid plate or permit. Information is at www.hsmv.state.fl.us/dmv/disabled_pkg.html
International travelers who have parking permits in their own country can purchase a temporary permit from any local tax office for $15.
Cruises for Special Needs
Autism on the Seas, a national organization, has been in collaboration with Royal Caribbean International since 2007 in developing cruise vacation services to accommodate adults and families living with children with Special Needs, including, but not limited to, Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Down Syndrome, Tourette Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and all Cognitive, Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
Our Staffed Cruises assist adults and families in accommodating the typical cruise services, as well as providing specialized Respite and Private Activities/Sessions that allow our guests the use of the ships entertainment venues in an accommodated and assisted manner.
We offer cruises from every cruise port in Florida, as well as resort stays at Disney World with our professional volunteer staff.