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Lonely Planet's free phrasebook encourages disabled people to travel more

News Desk

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Thu, June 14, 2018  /  08:29 pm
Lonely Planet's free phrasebook encourages disabled people to travel more

'Accessible Travel Phrasebook' could help travelers with disabilities navigate their way around foreign countries. (Shutterstock/File)

Lonely Planet has released its first ever travel phrasebook for the disabled thanks to Marthin Heng and many other volunteer translators who helped contribute to the book.

Accessible Travel Phrasebook is available online and can be downloaded for free via mobile devices, laptops and tablets. 

The tiny useful pocketbook comes with phrases in 35 languages, from Arabic to Chinese. It includes 100 disability-specific words and phrases, easy-to-follow pronunciation guides, vocabulary on topics ranging from hotels to transportation and many more unique features. 

“All travelers will get more out of their trip by being able to speak a few words of the local language, but for people with disabilities, it’s often vital to be able to explain your particular needs,” Heng said in a statement.  

“Since standard phrasebooks are unlikely to contain the language you use to talk about disability needs, we decided to gather together some disability-specific words and phrases and translate them into as many different languages as we practically could. There are still plenty of barriers to travel for people with a disability—language doesn’t have to be yet another.”

Read also: Where is the disability? My stumps don't define me

The release of the book comes at a time when the tourism industry is focusing more on meeting the needs of the disabled. A 2015 study written by Eric Lipp found that about 26 million disabled people travel for pleasure.

Heng said he hoped the new phrasebook would help encourage disabled people to travel more.

“We want to help people with access needs to get out into the world and experience the benefits that travel has to offer,” he said. “If this Accessible Travel Phrasebook encourages just a few more people with disabilities to get on the road, we will have taken one more step toward making the benefits of travel accessible to all.” (ely/kes)