You might have noticed that we have had some new writers on the Accomable blog recently so we wanted to introduce you to them in person.
In this blog we say hi to Ciaran, a freelance writer who loves travel, music, and, oh yeah, us…
Hello Ciaran, can you introduce yourself, who are you and what are you doing here?
Absolutely! My name is Ciaran Gilligan and I'm a freelance writer. You can find me at www.profreelancewriter.com and say hello on twitter @ThatProWriter. When I'm not blogging for Accomable I like going on adventures that involve travelling and music, ideally at the same time.
How do you relate to the work that Accomable is trying to do?
I think the work Accomable is doing is amazing and a much-needed resource. I'm a wheelchair user myself and I know how hard it is finding accessible accommodation. I've always thought it sort of ironic that travel is one of my favourite things to do, and yet from my position it's also one of the most complicated things to pull off. Having Accomable there as a giant funnel for accessible travel knowledge - particularly accommodation which is one of the biggest barriers - is fantastic.
Not only does Accomable make the idea of travel less daunting for disabled people, it also raises awareness. Travel is not exclusive to the realm of the able-bodied, and there’s a huge customer base out there that is potentially going untapped. So the presence of Accomable is great because it's started this dialogue and places are realising that everybody wins if they’re more inclusive - put a ramp in, make rooms a bit bigger, widen doorways, throw in a hoist and some grab rails, get 500% more business. It's not that hard!
Yes, you've nailed it! Can you describe your own holiday style?
The last big thing I did was a bunch of travelling for my 30th birthday a couple of years ago. I went to New York on my own, went to Tenerife with a friend and then it was his birthday to so we went back to America together and did Washington DC then travelled to New York again by train. It was really fun and I've started a travel blog this year in an attempt to document any future shenanigans I might get up to. Basically if there's somewhere I want to go, I’ll attempt to round up some travel buddies, but if no one else is interested in being led astray I'm quite happy to go on my own and see what happens…
A great attitude to have! What travel experiences are on your bucket list?
My ultimate travel bucket list right now would have to be Desert Trip, which has been described by Mick Jagger as ‘Coachella for old people’. Neil Young, The Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, The Who and Roger Waters all playing the same festival in California. I write about music as well and would love to go out there and review the facilities. However, seeing as it’s next month and all the tickets sold out in roughly 3 seconds, I think that's highly unlikely! I'd like to do more of Europe in the next few years, I'm really intrigued by places like MICs Saint Jordi in Barcelona and I Need A Holiday Too in France.
MICs Sant Jordi, Barcelona
Have you ever had an ‘access fail'?
Yes! There was a Holiday Inn in New York City that was basically an access fail the whole time we were there. My friend and I had booked wheelchair accessible rooms but they were tiny. You couldn't even swing a kitten in there, never mind a cat. In the end they moved my friend to a slightly larger room on a different floor, but there was nothing they could do for me so every morning I had to go down to his room to shower and get ready. It was like a military operation and really cut into our time. They made terrible pancakes there as well, which didn’t help!
That's rubbish, and what we're trying to avoid happening in the future. Thanks for introducing yourself to the Accomable world! If you want to read Ciaran's blog posts for Accomable click here.