איסלנד
 
 

I can answer specifics for you, eg that there is NO public fly-bus with a lift, providing transport from the airport to downtown (about 45 minutes away). I’ve talked with reps of Icelandair and Reyk. Excursions (owned by Icelandair) many times, they’re somehow afraid that lifts will be too difficult to maintain, operate, etc…yet they’re apparently willing to carry people up into the bus (if people are willing to be carried). There are anumber of properties that have w/c accessible rooms, although there’s always somethingnot quite right about the rooms, eg they’ve got these weird little pull down grab bars beside toilets, rather than putting the toilet next to a corner with built in grab bars. Maybe some people like them, I don’t know. I’m not in a chair myself, I just work in the business, but my friends who do use chairs tell me they don’t like that kind of set up.

The roll-in showers I’ve seen, even in the fanciest hotels, don’t have any kind of shower chair available…although that can be fixed easily once a reservation is made, I do know people at the hotels who could be encouraged to go out and buy a suitable shower chair.

Most of the showers do have hand held nozzles, because that’s the regular standard in Europe. Lever handles are also the regular standard, rather than door knobs.

Curb cuts are everywhere, because, I realized, so many people push babies in buggies.

The older buildings are not very accessible (usually a step up from the street) but the mall is, and I’m seeing more ramps every time I go there. The museums are accessible, as is city hall. A brand new hotel Centrum is going in, and surprisingly they have 3 h/c rooms, two with single beds and one with 2 single beds. Isn’t that weird??? Their bathrooms are also set up with the toilet right in the middle, blocking access to the sink and shower. But when I saw it it was only partly done, so maybe it won’t be as bad as it looked.

The youth hostel actually wasn’t too bad, although they were going to re-do the big doors to open up to the outside (in the bathrooms). The laugardar swimming pool has a lift into the pool, and a separate shower area. The Laugar spa is accessible, but with many hot tups and saunas,another person would be pretty necessary to help.

The Blue Lagoon, a MUST do, is quite accessible (although come to think of it, I can’t remember how they get chairs past the turnstiles goingin… must have a separate large door).

There’s a bus company with several 18 pass lift equipped buses, and the owner tells me if we got a group together he could accommodate at least 4 chairs in each bus, plus more who could transfer. So…someday if we put a group together, assuming there are enough people who want to be grouped together, it could be very possible. He’d also pick up at the airport as part of the tour.

The thing is, Iceland is very sophisticated and modern in many ways, and it’s totally surprising that they’re not quite ready for wheelchairs everywhere. They’re set up, in my opinion, to view disabilities as something that should be taken care of, provided with lodging and food, but not jobs and independence. It’s a mind-set I think, and if we could get bunches of tourists making waves, I think the dominoes would fall very easily.

If you can get into a regular bus (or better yet, a rental car), Iceland wouldn’t be too hard for you, and would be worth the visit. It truly is a magnificent place.

Mindy Desens

הדפסשלח לחברהוסף תגובה
עבור לתוכן העמוד