France for disabled people
There are several UK organisations worth knowing about: Triscope, Radar, Access project, Holiday Care service and many others in France. The French Ministry of Tourism, keen to raise awareness of the needs of disabled people when travelling, has initiated a campaign which is proving to be of invaluable help.
A new logo depicting 4 specifics types of disability: physical (impaired mobility), mental disability, partial sight or blindness and hearing difficulty and deafness has been designed. The symbols are displayed in airports and other public places and guide books. They indicate meeting points where help is available.
A few tips to remember
Registered blind people can sometimes take a companion with them free of charge. Please check with the Transport Company.
The Channel tunnel now offers unique advantages for disabled people from Britain: on Eurotunnel you can stay in your car (much easier than getting on and off a ferry) and for London to Paris it is often easier to take Eurostar than flying.
Several transport companies offer discounts and benefits. For example: Eurostar can give wheelchair passengers first-class travel for second class fares. Other concessions vary from company to company and should be checked when booking.
The international blue scheme applies.
- Regional Hotels
Lists obtainable from the French Tourist Office indicate which hotels has facilities for the disabled. It is however important to note that this does not indicate a uniform standard of accessibility, and if your requirements are specific, it is vital to check direct with the hotel.
Three organisations in Paris rent out wheelchairs:
CRF - Tel: 0033 143 73 98 98
Integral - Tel: 0033 145 88 33 00
Material Paramedical - Tel: 0033 143 26 75 00.
Some organisations are specifically aimed at helping young disabled people, for example the Centre International de Séjour de Paris.6 avenue Maurice Ravel 75 012 Paris 17, Boulevard Kellermann 75 013 Paris Booking centre: 0033 143 58 96 00 Fax: 0033 143 58 95 14 www.cisp.fr email@example.com
Several UK organisations worth knowing about
Triscope, a national charity, provides a free-of-charge travel and transport information service and can advise you about available concessions.The courtyard Evelyn road London W4 5JL National Helpline: 08457 58564.
RADAR (Royal Association for Disability And Rehabilitation) have an information department giving specialist advice. Please write to them including a stamped adressed envelope. They sell "Getting There", a guide to facilities at airports- £5.12 City forum 250 City Road London ECV 8AF Tel: 0207 250 3222 Fax: 0207 250 0212
Access Project have available a unique source " ACCESS IN PARIS". It is well researched and available free. They ask users for a donation of £5.39 Bradley Gardens West Ealing London W13 8HE
Holiday Care Service is a national charity and a central source of travel and holiday information and support for disabled people. They can be contacted at:Holiday Care, 7th Floor, Sunley House, 4 Bedford Park, Croydon, Surrey, CR0 2AP Tel: 0845 124 9971 Fax: 0845 124 9972 firstname.lastname@example.org
We would like to thank Holiday care for its contribution to this article.