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Wheelchair accessibility

Posted by JacqC - Created: 13 years ago
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3 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 3)

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Posted by JacqC - 13 years ago

Thanks for this. 

Will have a go at knocking up a ramp!

Cheers, Jacqueline

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Posted by stirrer2-182859 - 13 years ago

In France people are not very aware of difficulties for wheelchair and puschair users.

I had a guest like yours and we found it difficult in towns, as cars were parked on the pavements and the kerbs were really high, it was quite bumpy for my guest until we knocked up our own mini ramp from a couple of bits of wood. This made all the towns accessible and though a bit of a pain, having to carry around two pieces of wood, it made her trip very enjoyable.

We found lots of kindness and consideration in all people we came into contact with but we were considerate too, we didnt push in nor expect to be served first just because we were with a wheelchair user, as she says, she can wait all day, heck shes sitting down!
The extra service we got at Nice airport was great, but you need to phone them in advance, they take you right to your car and couldnt be more helpful.
We also telephoned in advance for restaurants  just to make sure our table was accessible and that helped too.
I would telephone the train station just to check they are accessible and that the lifts are working.
Some things we couldnt do, so we stuck to outings and explored more gentle terrain which is so beautiful. Apart from hilly places with lots of steps you should be ok anywhere if you take home made ramps!

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Posted by amj-196349 - 13 years ago

We had a visitor in a wheelchair this year and I wsh you luck. What we found is that unless disabled parking places are chained they're usually taken by the able bodied. The car park opposite the Casino in Monaco was truly excellent and the one at the Palace not bad. But you must be prepared to ask for help from the assisstants everywhere.

We warned restaurants in advance so that was usually ok except at one restaurant in Valbonne I stopped outside the entrance to let out our friend because the car park was gravelled- difficult in a wheel chair-and one of the customers came over shouting at us because he thought we were going to park there and he didn't even apologise when he saw what we were doing! Deeply upsetting for our friend.

Many sightseeing places are off limits because of the terrain. We couldn't "do" all of Monaco for instance, nor Eze. Nice and Cannes were ok.

I think the important thing is to contact all galleries, museums etc beforehand to find out what their arrangements are. Not all buses are equipped, not all pavements are suitable - too big a step down.

I didn't find it an easy time though we thoroughly enjoyed their company.  The able bodied were, on the whole, inconsiderate and unhelpful and you wouldn't believe how many people simply stood and stared. It was an eye opener and it's certainly taught me a lesson.