Inclusion: Rights vs Economics

Sign showing symbols for wheelchair access and baby stroller accessBill Forrester writes in his latest blog post that one problem of moving from the medical model of disability to the social model, is that the issue of rights seems to take centre stage and the discussion of economic benefits gets lost. Tourism and travel is a perfect example of where many economic gains can be made. Too often travel and tourism companies forget that people with disability travel with families and friends. Consequently the losses are far more than just one potential customer. Disability is classified as something different and around that a set of preconceptions are built that shield it from a market view, says Forrester. There is a link to his research on the blog page. He argues that preferences for holidays are the same as the general population. I can attest to that.

Photograph on a sand dune of 18 passengers and 4 driversEditor’s Note: I have just returned from two weeks on the Canning Stock Route in Western Australia. If you don’t know this area, it is desert – sand dunes, and a 2000km string of wells built for cattle and their drovers in a past time. The road is sand, the shelter is the tent you put up each night and take down each morning, and the transport is 4×4 or better still, 6×6 vehicles. On my trip were 18 passengers and 4 drivers. No passenger was under the age of 60 and the eldest was 86. Older people clearly want to keep doing the things they’ve always done. The spirit of adventure lives on!  Jane Bringolf.

The top picture was taken at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore, and the lower picture is of the 18 passengers and 4 drivers on the Canning Stock Route trip.