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Language Barriers

People who don’t need assistance have less need to communicate…they can generally just follow the crowd. A person with a disability may need to ask if someone can help get you up a curb, if there is an alternate entrance with a ramp, or where the closest accessible bathroom is. I find that learning about 20 phrases in the language of the country I am visiting makes the trip run a whole lot smoother for me. Click on the links below to access useful accessibility phrases.

Depending on where you go in Europe, you could encounter zero communication problems, be unable to communicate at all, or anything in between. If you are an English speaker, obviously England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales will be the easiest for you. I have more English spoke in Germany than in Italy or France. Throughout Europe you will find more English speakers in the big cities than in the small towns. Generally people in the tourism industry (hotels, museums, guided tours) have some proficiency in English although in small towns this is not always the case.

It’s also worth mentioning that while you are researching your trip, you may find that some websites have an English version but the accessibility information is only in the local language. Someone must think that people with disabilities would never leave their own country!

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