The first World Travel Congress for Travelers with Disabilities opens Jan. 8 in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., amid an information explosion in that niche market. By one estimate, about 16% of Americans are disabled in some way.
In the last year, two quarterly magazines have started up for disabled travelers: New Baltimore, N.Y.-based Access to Travel, which claims 6,000 paid subscribers, and Open World, published by the New York-based Society for the Advancement of Travel for the Handicapped (SATH).
"There is a big fear syndrome--a fear of the unknown" about travel among many disabled people, says Will DeRuve, Access publisher and editor in chief. The magazine features handicapped travelers writing about their trips. Subscriptions are $15 per year; tel. (518) 731-9701.
Open World, new this fall, is free to SATH's 1,500 members (annual membership: $45) and costs $13 per year for nonmembers. SATH, founded in 1975 to promote access for the handicapped, is sponsoring the Jan. 8-12 conference, open to consumers, travel professionals and government and nonprofit groups. Basic registration is $179. To register or to subscribe to Open World, call SATH: (212) 447-7284.