Tue, January 25, 2011 3:06:46 PMPersonalized Travel Helps People with Disabilities
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Finding a Way Together: Troy Discovers Hammer Travel
As part of our commitment to providing opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to participate in the activities they choose, The Arc would like to introduce you to companies that share our vision. Hammer Travel is one such company providing people with I/DD the freedom to travel when and where they choose. Here’s the story of Troy, one of Hammer’s success stories.
Troy has a passion for traveling the world, public speaking and meeting new friends. He also has a developmental and physical disability causing him to need a wheelchair for mobility. While Troy has been able to travel to exciting places including Alaska, the Caribbean, and California he does face certain challenges. Many of these are the same that everyone faces including getting time off from work and choosing a destination. However Troy also faces some unique challenges that many people with I/DD often do. These include his need for around the clock support, medication/personal aid, transportation issues and accessible airfare and lodging. All of these can be a burden to tackle alone. So when Troy travels he reaches out to a travel provider.
Unfortunately for Troy many travel providers told him his independence would be limited on trips because his electric wheelchair was too large to transport. Also, that he would need to bring his own staff to transfer him. Troy knew that there had to be a provider out there that could better support his unique needs and kept searching. While attending a self-advocacy conference, Troy met Josh Senso, the Director of Hammer Travel, and found the solution to his travel needs. “Meeting Troy and watching him get more and more excited as I told him about Hammer Travel is exactly why we wanted to start this service,” explains Senso.
Hammer Travel is a service offered by a long-time provider out of Minnesota. Hammer Residences, Inc. was founded in 1923 and has helped thousands of adults and children with developmental disabilities experience life to the fullest. A few years ago a challenge was given to employees to find a new way that Hammer could extend their mission. At that time Senso was working with fellow program manager, Tom Ryan. They organized a fishing trip each summer that was growing by leaps and bounds. Together they brought the idea of starting a travel business to Hammer’s CEO. Over the next few years Hammer Travel, LLC was born.
Hammer Travel assists individuals like Troy in experiencing a personalized vacation. With this in mind, they organize their trips so each person can participate in the social aspects of the group while also being able to choose activities to suit their preferences. A variety of different travel services are offered. These include: predetermined destination travel, family supported travel, individual or small group travel, and convention attendee assistance. To learn more about meeting the travel needs of individuals with disabilities visit Hammer Travel’s website or call 877.345.8599.
After his recent trip with Hammer Travel Troy is now following another passion as a volunteer travel consultant. Together he and Hammer Travel are working to find solutions for the common travel challenges for people with disabilities. “Travel challenges are lessoned through communication with individual travelers. Hearing Troy’s opinions really make a difference to us,” says Senso before continuing on, “we can’t wait to have him travel with us again.”
To learn more please call 877.345.8599 to speak with a Hammer Travel Team Member or visit www.HammerTravel.org
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