Making Accessibility Second Nature, with Cory Lee

Episode 103:

Cory Lee is a travel blogger and advocate accessibility to accommodate disabilities of all kinds. At a young age, Cory was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy, but that certainly did not diminish his desire to travel. He has visited destinations on six of seven continents (Antarctica is still on the to-visit list!)

Since starting his blog, in 2013, he has gained more than 50,000 followers across social media and his blog won the prestigious 2017 Lowell Thomas Award for Best Travel Blog. He has written for National Geographic, Lonely Planet, and is a frequent contributor to New Mobility magazine. Corey hopes to inspire others to break out of their comfort zones and start rolling around the world.

On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Cory about the challenges and opportunities with accessibility in the travel and tourism industry. Did you know that people with some form of disability spend $13 Billion a year on travel? If you’re not thinking about accessibility, you are leaving money on the table.

What You Will Learn:

  • Finding your audience as a travel writer to attract destinations to work with you
  • Why destinations need to clearly advertise their accessibility to people with disabilities
  • How to advocate for accessibility accommodations in real time
  • Considering accessibility in your group tour programs
  • The details to attend to in planning an accessible trip
  • Creative ideas to make your destination even more accessible

Don’t Make Accessibility Your Untapped Market

25 percent of the world has some form of disability. This huge market segment actually spends over $13,000,000,000 per year just on travel, which represents a tremendous opportunity. If you are a destination with wheelchair accessibility, for example, make sure this is clearly stated in multiple ways in all of your points of internet presence. People with disabilities often need to plan more carefully when they travel, so giving as much info up front is always a good policy.

Speak Up and Speak Out

The travel and tourism industry is about helping people have a great travel experience, and the word “accessibility” can mean a lot of things. When traveling with a disability, don’t be afraid to ask for what you need. If the destination truly wants your business, they will do all they can to make your stay amazing.


Episode Transcript