Why I Had to Cancel My International Travel Plans as a Person With a Disability
Exactly two months and 12 days ago I was supposed to be getting on a plane to Rome, Italy. I had been preparing for this trip for over a year and I had raised all the funding I needed. Two weeks before I was supposed to leave I had a really difficult discussion to make.
You see, I was going to be there for the entire month of September to train in the DanceAbility Method. I was going to come back as a certified DanceAbility teacher. It was the next step in my dance career and the next step with the company I work for, DanceAbility International. Like I said earlier, I had all my funding, I found an accessible apartment to rent, but my biggest problem was finding an aide to go with me.
I had several people commit to going with me, but later realized they couldn’t afford it. I started trying to raise more money to help someone come, but in the end I couldn’t get enough to make a difference. Though they would have been my personal support worker, they wouldn’t have gotten paid until after the trip. I have cerebral palsy and anxiety, I’m a 20-year-old woman who has never flown before. I was not about to fly to another country by myself. I decided not to go because of that and some other reasons.
I was left wondering how people with disabilities travel if they can afford it but their aides cannot. I don’t know about you, but I don’t know many rich people, I don’t have any rich family members, and I’m definitely not rich. So how do I travel if my aides can’t? How do I live my life to the fullest if my aides can’t afford to come with me? Has anyone else discovered this? I feel like we owe it to our aides to change this. They should be able to travel the world with us if they want to, no matter what their financial situation is.
Getty image by Lucky Photographer.