Disabled Travellers

Russia, China and Mongolia can be difficult places for disabled travellers. Most buildings, buses and trains are not wheelchair accessible. In China and Russia, crossing busy streets often requires using underground walkways with many steps. Uneven pavements in the cities and rough roads in the countryside make for uncomfortable and potentially dangerous travel.

Travelling on Trans-Siberian trains, while not impossible for the disabled, will certainly be a challenge. People in wheelchairs will have to be carried on and off the train and into their compartments, not to mention to the utterly disabled-unfriendly toilets.

Before setting off get in touch with your national support organisation (preferably with the travel officer, if there is one). The website www.everybody.co.uk has an airline directory that provides information on the disability-friendly facilities offered by various airlines. There are a number of organisations that offer general travel advice: Accessible Journeys (§§ 800-846 4537; www.disability travel.com; USA)

Holiday Care Service (§§ 0845-124 9974; www.holiday care.org.uk; 7th fl, Sunley House, 4 Bedford Park, Croydon, Surrey CRO 2AP, UK)

Mobility International USA (s 541-343 1284; www .miusa.org; PO Box 10767, Eugene, Oregon 974400, USA) Nican (§§ 02-6285 3713; www.nican.com.au; PO Box 407, Curtin, ACT 2605, Australia)

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