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Especially Camperist

Especially Camperist-Vademecumof the RV and caravantraveler with disabilities or accessibility needs, permanent or temporary

paper prepared by:

Roberto Vitali, founder of V4A-Village for All, Gigi Conzon, former president of ANGLAT Treviso, and Michela Bagatella, editorial coordinator of PleinAir

ESPECIALLY CAMPER

Motorhomes and disabilities, or if we want motorhomes and travelers with accessibility needs: a combination well known to many recreational vehicle enthusiasts. It is common for a crew member to be a person with needs related to mobility, vision, hearing, or difficulties related to the cognitive-relational sphere, permanent or temporary: just think of the elderly, pregnant women, those experiencing the aftermath of an accident, couples with one or more very young children. Having accessibility needs may also mean having food intolerances, or needing to follow complex therapies (see, for example, dialysis). A vast planet, then, but often united by the desire to travel, which finds in the camper and caravan a valid answer. Here are some considerations and good rules.

1 The accessibility of follow-up

The sea is certainly among the most desired destinations for one's vacation: in the picture Roberto and Luca on the beach boardwalk, in the background the sea.
The sea is certainly among the most desired destinations for one's vacation

The recreational vehicle is a formidable tool for overcoming barriers: the living cell allows one to bring along the autonomy of travel, rest, refreshment and, last but not least, one's own toilet. The camper and caravan (suitably modified if necessary), allow the person with disabilities, or with accessibility needs, to expand his or her possibilities of traveling and vacationing, even (and if we want especially) in a touring key.

2 Inquire first

Organizing an RV vacation involves not only deciding where to go, but also foreseeing and checking all the additional and ancillary services that everyone, depending on their needs, must necessarily find.
Before starting the trip, always check the existence and location of restricted traffic zones, the presence of reserved CUDE (Unique European Disabled Persons Identification Mark) parking spaces, how to obtain permits for access to urban centers, accessibility to museums and historic buildings, and the walkability of pedestrian zones. It is equally important to check in advance the usability of the accommodations we will be referring to (be they campgrounds, agritourisms, public or private rest areas) and how to connect from them to the places being visited. Remember that the Internet, traffic police and local RV associations represent inexhaustible mines of information, to which you can also add the associations of people with disabilities in the area.

3 Standards of behavior

Do not forget that the motorhome is and remains a bulky vehicle: if a column is created (e.g., on mountain roads), it is a good idea to stop now and then and let the traffic that follows flow out.Always respect the Highway Code; use with common sense the regulations in favor of access, transit, parking in regulated areas (such as in the historic center); always pay due attention to the overall dimensions of the vehicle. In built-up areas for daytime parking, it is advisable to choose decentralized places with little or no traffic, close to the area you intend to visit; if they are regulated by bans or restrictions, display your CUDE badge well in view and, if necessary (to avoid misunderstandings), notify the urban police command of your presence. In public parking areas and parking lots, avoid occupying outdoor spaces with tables, chairs and other personal equipment.Make wastewater discharges into the appropriate sumps and avoid any behavior contrary to hygiene regulations, leaving the occupied space clean; before leaving, check that the drains, both black and clear water, are completely and perfectly closed.

4 Help yourself and get help

Mobility is important for everyone: photo shows people with disabilities at a campground
Mobility is important for everyone

It is a useful if not indispensable attitude for overcoming one's personal limitations. A good dose of adaptive spirit should not be lacking: never give up in the face of unforeseen difficulties encountered while traveling, but face them calmly, with a positive attitude, and when necessary putting on a good face. It is equally important to indulge one's interests, choosing the destination according to one's preferences and adapting, if necessary, to overcome some small obstacle; remember that knowing how to present one's needs correctly will make it more likely to find solutions for tour operators.

5 Let us be recognized

We keep the CUDE well displayed and legible and exhibit it whenever we are asked for it. Those who check us do so to protect our rights. Let us remember that the badge is personal and family members are not allowed to use it in the absence of the holder. It does not justify misbehavior or poor manners toward others. Friendliness and a positive attitude are always passepartouts of excellence: never skimp, as they can resolve any misunderstandings and difficult situations.Remember that our behavior is always in the public eye, as we are doubly visible, as campers and as people with disabilities.

6 Word of mouth is an asset

Let us listen to the advice of friends: people with disabilities, or accessibility needs, similar to our own are the ones who can often give us the best tip. However, let's not hold them responsible in case we go home unsatisfied: having the same kind of needs does not (fortunately) imply having the same preferences and tastes. Hospitality businesses should also realize this.

7 Our experience is valuable

The accessibility of places also allows people with disabilities to work in tourism, in the photo Luca, a person with motor disabilities, at the entrance of a campsite
Accessibility of places also allows people with disabilities to work in tourism

We learn how to tell others about our experiences, using the many resources on the Internet, social networks and print media. It is not necessary to be an experienced journalist or writer; the important thing is to report correct information. We note and document expenses, routes, maps, phone numbers, addresses of associations, inns, places we think are important, the hospitality we received, notes on the accessibility of accommodations and tourist destinations: our experience, once disseminated, can be a valuable source of information for everyone.

 

 

Download the pdf of the document HERE 👈

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