On Monday, May 16 I flew out to Santa Barbara, California with some coworkers from JJ’s List. The purpose of this trip was to train several employees from Toad & Co., a clothing retailer. We flew out on United Airlines, and the accommodations provided by all airport and airline staff were very helpful.
First off, immediately upon our arrival at the security line when departing Chicago, we were greeted by a nice employee who had a wheelchair for me. I am able to walk just fine with my white cane, but the purpose of my ride in the wheelchair was to get through the security line quickly. The last thing I wanted to do was miss our flight; therefore, causing everybody else to miss the flight. I sat in an aisle seat on the airplane, which worked out very well. The flight was enjoyable despite some turbulence. Immediately upon our arrival at LAX, a wheelchair was ready for me. I rode in it out to the Enterprise Rent-a-Car area, where my group leaders picked up 2 vehicles.
The hotel in which my group and I stayed was very nice. I had one of the accessible rooms all to myself. I am not a wheelchair user, but I very much appreciated having an accessible room. I slept well, and the accessible bathroom was nice.
The training went great, and several Toad & Co. employees came up and told me how much they benefitted from it. After the training we took a group picture with everybody. Then it was time to say goodbye, and we were on our way back to LAX for our return flight to Chicago.
This trip was rather short but fun. Thank you to everybody—including our fearless group leaders—for making this trip a big success. I really enjoy these Disability Awareness Trainings, because people learn a lot about interactions with someone who has a disability. I've often wondered if these trainings would make an iota of a difference at the state/government level, especially for states like Illinois where we have had a major budget crisis.