Why Travel?

I received an e-mail yesterday from someone I will leave unidentified. This person basically implied that our travel was strictly for personal enjoyment and had no other broader purpose.

My first reaction was anger. We have worked hard this past year to get out on the road and stay on the road because we believe that traveling freely is an important aspect of a free society.

Then I realized that it might be we have not been clear about what we do while we travel.

Our traveling serves several purposes beyond the enjoyment we get from going to new places and meeting new people.

First, in a society that regards some people as worthy of the privilege of travel and others as not, strictly on the basis of how they look or how they are categorized, visibility is important. Since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the visibility of people with disabilities has increased dramatically and with it has come acceptance and a sense of naturalness for people to be differently abled. Being on the road and out and about is an important way to say, "hey, we're just as human as you are."

Second, most of us rely upon media for information about the world around us. We let someone else tell us the stories of our world. It was important for us, if we wanted to promote accessibility, to go out and see what is accessible. We need to see for ourselves the state of things.

Third, The Ample Traveler© has taken a positive spin on these issues. We seek out and feature positive examples of universal accessibility because it will encourage businesses to be accessible and because it will encourage people to travel and to patronize accessible businesses.

Finally, most people think that the law is enough. We have ADA. We have civil rights. We have state laws and local ordinances that supposedly guarantee we will not be discriminated against, right? Well, first, we do not have full guarantees under the law. The ADA suffers from the same basic problem that earlier anti-discrimination legislation suffers: It relies upon the same categorizations used to single out a person in order to protect them from discrimination. The beauty of the ADA legislation has been the concept of reasonable accommodation. This simple concept turns a legal procedure into a cultural encounter because the question of reasonability is always open to interpretation. In order to change culture and improve on the process of negotiation, difference must become ordinary. The more we travel and talk to others about accessibility while we travel, the more we contribute to the acceptance of difference.

We promote universal accessibility because we believe that accommodations should be made for human beings no matter what category in which they can be placed. Accommodating travelers is a natural place for this cultural change to begin because the travel, tourism and hospitality business is an industry built upon accommodating others. All businesses built on accommodating diversity will be economically strong in our opinion.

So why travel? Well, we do enjoy ourselves on the road. But we also believe that traveling with a purpose will make room for others along the way. We hope that The Ample Traveler© project can be sustained because we believe that visibility is the key to cultural change and that accommodating difference is an important change in the way business is conducted in our economy.

I am sorry that my e-mailer didn't understand that it is important for people to be visible and it is important for businesses accommodating diversity to be visible. We remain committed to staying on the road for that purpose.

There is room for everyone!


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    Mission Statement

    We are devoted to promoting affordable, accessible housing in Las Vegas that meets the particular needs of tenants, owners and investors with diligence, sensitivity and integrity.

    We are devoted to promoting universal accessibility in the Las Vegas so that people will be welcomed as residents and visitors no matter what their background, age, ability or size and to advocate for those who are excluded intentionally or otherwise.

    We are devoted to showing Las Vegas that welcoming all persons is in tune with the spirit of accommodations and is a sound way to expand the local market by creating a loyal client base that will increase long-term sales and profits. Accommodating diversity is good business.

    We are devoted to promoting global good will by promoting the free movement of all people. Las Vegas is America's playground and, maybe even, the world's playground. We are devoted to make Las Vegas a showplace of universal design, accessibility, and inclusion. Las Vegas is a place built on the concept of freedom and freedom of movement is one of the ultimate freedoms. We can think of no better place on earth to promote inclusion than our beautiful city. We hope you will join us in making Las Vegas a place for everyone.

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