Transportation companies typically offer travellers with disabilities a time to board before the other passengers. This ensures you have the time you need to settle into your seat before the rush of passengers. If you wish to pre-board and have an invisible disability, identify yourself to an employee since they might be unaware of your needs.
On board, you can ask for help to find your seat and to transfer into and out of it. As always, it is best if you have requested this help ahead of time so that the company is ready to assist you. You can also ask for help to put away and retrieve your carry-on baggage.
If you travel with a service animal, the transportation company should seat you in a row with enough space for your animal to lie down.
Note: There are safety regulations that do not allow certain travellers to be assigned emergency exit row seats. For example, children, pregnant women and passengers with disabilities and service animals cannot be assigned emergency exit row seats.
In general, larger airports use a covered ramp, called a bridge, between the terminal building and the aircraft cabin. At some airports, passengers must go outside and use a staircase to board the aircraft. If you need help or cannot use stairs, you should let your transportation company know when you make your reservation. As an alternative to stairs, some airports may use a mechanical lift or carry you by hand onto the airplane.
Many seat armrests along the aisle are moveable to make it easier to get in or out of the row of seats. Sometimes the armrests are latched in place. You can ask for help from the cabin crew.
If you request assistance at least 48 hours before your travel, the railway will help you at the ticket counter and to get on the train, including navigating stairs or step boxes on the platform. Lifts are also available at some stations.
Larger stations usually have a crewmember available to help you if you made a request ahead of time. Smaller railway stations may have only one employee, or even none. You may need to get from the terminal to the platform on your own if you haven't made arrangements ahead of time.
In the passenger car, some aisle seats may have moveable armrests to make it easier to get into and out of seats.
Ferries often have two or more decks that are connected by staircases. Some have wheelchair-accessible elevators, but not all do. There may also be times when large waves roll the ship and make the elevator unsafe to use. You can ask the crew at any time for help.
Many buses have lifts or ramps for boarding and can allow you to travel with your mobility aid. Other buses have low-level floors which allow access from the curb, but some buses do not have any boarding devices. In some cases, a traveller may have to transfer to a boarding chair provided by the bus company.
If you need help, it is best to let the transportation company know at least 48 hours before your travel. The transportation company will ensure that an accessible bus service that meets your needs is provided. You can also ask that the company help you get from the ticket counter, through the terminal and onto the bus.