I love camping. So I knew that even with our family’s extra challenges, I had to figure out some sort of way to keep going for summer adventures in the great outdoors. Through a lot of trial and error, I can say with confidence that camping with wheels is not only possible but worth the effort.
Fortunately, camping — and travel generally — is being made easier by a new wave of accessibility in the tourism world. There are accessible tourism conferences, like The Accessible & Inclusive Tourism Conference, accessible tourism organizations like TravelAbility, accessible tourism blogs like WheelchairTravel.Org, and plenty of resources from travel bureaus.
Now, we can add one more resource to the list. For those who, like me, live in Oregon, or for anyone who wants to come here, check out my new feature on accessible camping spots on TravelOregon’s website.
Bonus: I have an audio version of the article in today’s podcast. You can also listen to it by clicking the play button at the top of this post. Don’t forget to follow on Spotify or Apple Podcasts so it comes up in your feed.
Here are some more camping-with-disabilities tips:
Outdoorsy.com is like Airbnb for RVs. I can’t say it’s terribly affordable — comparable to hotel prices — but it does offer a way to have an adventure with kids who need certain amenities wherever they go.
To find more accessible camping options in Oregon, click the “features” button on Oregon State Parks’ website.
Planning your day during an Oregon camping trip? Learn more about Oregon trails’ ADA features and options.
For camping spots throughout the country: Recreation.gov also has a checkbox in the upper right corner of its search bar for “Accessible camping.”
Do you have other tips and experiences you want to share? Post them in the comments or reply to this email if you’re a subscriber. And happy trails to you!
Medical Motherhood’s news round up
Snippets of news and opinion from outlets around the world. Click the links for the full story.
• From The Washington Post: “Okla. lawmaker says Bible endorses corporal punishment of disabled children”
Oklahoma state Rep. John Talley thought his bill to bar schools from spanking children with disabilities would find little to no opposition at the state’s legislature. After all, the Republican lawmaker said he had fielded calls with dozens of families and educational groups, drawn inspiration from his personal experience and received support from colleagues on both sides of the aisle.
Yet on Tuesday, what seemed like a rare bipartisan moment quickly came crashing down as other Republican lawmakers invoked the Bible to argue against Talley’s House Bill 1028, claiming in some instances that “God’s word is higher than all the so-called experts,” as Rep. Jim Olsen posited during the proposed legislation’s debate. The bill wound up with 45 votes in favor and 43 against — six short of the 51 it needed to pass.
[…]Corporal punishment, though in decline, remains in use in American schools. For centuries, students have been whipped or struck by rulers and paddles. Even though New Jersey became the first state to ban the practice in public schools in 1867, it took over a century before other states followed suit. Then, a 1977 Supreme Court decision, Ingraham v. Wright, deemed corporal punishment at public schools to be constitutional and left it up to the states to decide what to do.
Oklahoma is among the 19 states where corporal punishment is still legal in public schools. In almost all states, except for New Jersey and Iowa, it’s also allowed in private schools.
[…]Talley said he still has hope that his bill will become state law. He’ll bring it up for another vote Monday, when lawmakers who had been absent Tuesday would probably be back.
“This is an important one, and I’m not giving up,” said Talley, who added that he’d been subjected to the punishment as a child and whose wife is a retired special education teacher. “I had a call with a U.S. Marshal who told me his autistic daughter got spanked three times in a day for not doing her math correctly — there’s a point when you have to step up and say ‘this is just wrong.’”
• From Courthouse News Service: “Orthodox Jewish parents claim California discriminates against their disabled children”
LOS ANGELES (CN) — A group of orthodox Jewish parents of disabled children sued California for religious discrimination because the state won't pay for special education programs and resources at private religious schools.
Six parents and two Jewish schools, backed by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, filed a complaint Monday in Los Angeles federal court claiming the state discriminates against religious children with disabilities and against religious schools.
The parents say their children have been diagnosed with autism and that they are forced to choose either to send them to a private religious school, as they prefer, and pay themselves for prohibitively expense therapy and special-education services, or send their children to a public school where they run into conflicts observing religious holidays and other commitments.
• From Newshub (New Zealand): “Wheelchair users fed up with paying four times more for event tickets”
Wheelchair users say they are being charged up to four times as much for events, and having to pay extra for a carers ticket at some venues.
Many in the community feel they are being discriminated against and exploited.
Football lover Jack Tauwhare says he felt deceived by the cost advertised for the recent All Whites match in Auckland.
"They promoted it as $20 a ticket for the minimum and then they tell me $80 is the cheapest ticket available for wheelchair users, which is four times the price of if you're not in a wheelchair.
"Every time I go to a concert or go to a sports event, every time. We've just had to bite the bullet and just pay it," Tauwhare said.
[…]Tauwhare said it was plain discrimination.
"We shouldn't be put into these positions where we have to pay double the price as a normal able bodied person just to be able to get into see the same same sporting event or the same concert or same entertainment as everyone else."
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