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This Expert Works with Big Travel Companies and Tourism Destinations to Make Travel More Accessible and Inclusive for Everyone

accessible travel with John Sage on A Texas Guide
Discussing Accessible Travel with John Sage | Photo Source: John Sage Inclusion

Accessibility is the practice of making products, services, and environments available to all people, regardless of their physical or cognitive abilities. This includes people with disabilities, as well as those without, and covers a wide range of areas, from physical access to information access.

Accessibility is important because people with disabilities or other impairments are often excluded from various aspects of society. This can include access to public facilities, information, or services that everyone else may take for granted. Additionally, the lack of accessibility can limit opportunities for people with disabilities, making it harder for them to find jobs, get an education, and participate in the community.

Accessibility helps ensure that everyone is given the same opportunities to participate in their community and experience the same level of quality of life. It is also a civil right that allows all individuals to be included and have equal access to services, products, and facilities.

So today, as part of our ongoing series on accessibility, we were lucky enough to interview John Sage of New Braunfels, Texas.

He is CEO of three prominent companies in the accessibility and inclusive travel industry: Sage Traveling, Accessible Travel Solutions, and Sage Inclusion

John Sage

Sage Recognizes the Need for Accessible Travel Experiences| Photo Source: John Sage

Nice to meet you John! Tell us how you got started in this field.

My journey in this position began by recognizing the need for accessible travel experiences. With a passion for ensuring equal opportunities for all, I embarked on a mission to create innovative solutions. This drive led me to establish Sage Traveling, Accessible Travel Solutions, and Sage Inclusion each dedicated to addressing the unique challenges faced by individuals with disabilities. In my role as CEO, I oversee the operations of all three companies. Sage Traveling specializes in planning trips for people with disabilities, ensuring their needs are met at every stage of the journey. Accessible Travel Solutions focuses on providing accessible shore excursions, enabling individuals to explore various destinations comfortably. Sage Inclusion offers training, certification, and cutting-edge technology to enhance accessibility in the travel industry.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Some of Sage’s Esteemed Clients Include Norwegian Cruise Line | Photo by Alonso Reyes 

Who are some of your better-known clients?

We have had the privilege of working with numerous esteemed clients, including renowned cruise lines such as MSC and Norwegian Cruise Lines. Additionally, we have collaborated with destinations like Dubai, Santa Barbara, and Galveston to create inclusive travel experiences. Our expertise has been recognized by Virtuoso, a leading luxury travel network, further affirming our commitment to excellence.

Can you describe what, exactly, you do for these clients?

 Our main focus with Sage Traveling is addressing various accessibility and inclusion issues. When working on a project for a client, we take a comprehensive approach. This includes handling accommodation arrangements, transportation logistics, curated tours, pre-trip advice, and round-the-clock emergency support. Our goal is to ensure a seamless and enjoyable travel experience for people of all abilities.

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John Sage Accessible Travel

Sage’s Mission is to Make Travel Easier for People of All Abilities | Photo Source: John Sage

What are some of the hidden issues you deal with that the general public might not consider?

There are several accessibility issues that often go unnoticed by the general public. We work closely with companies and government entities to address these concerns. Our approach involves providing accessibility training to staff members and documenting accessibility, thereby creating a more inclusive environment for all travelers. Through our work, we have shed light on areas that are often overlooked. For example, the location of lamp switches can be crucial for individuals with mobility challenges. The training for shower chairs and handheld shower nozzles can significantly enhance the bathing experience for people with disabilities. These details are essential in creating truly accessible travel experiences.

Do you have a mission statement or guiding principle for your work?

Our mission is to make travel easier for people of all abilities. We strive to break down barriers, promote inclusivity, and ensure that every individual has equal opportunities to explore and enjoy the world. Our commitment lies in providing accessible and inclusive travel solutions that empower and inspire. Companies, government agencies, and nonprofits should be asking themselves how the travel experience differs for individuals with disabilities and whether it is equitable. Considering these questions can foster a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by people with disabilities and pave the way for meaningful improvements.

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Tell us about your connection to Texas.

I was born and raised in Houston, Texas, and have deep roots in the state. Three years ago, I relocated to New Braunfels, Texas. Texas has a unique significance in terms of this topic as it presents a wealth of opportunities to collaborate with local organizations, government bodies, and hospitality providers to create inclusive travel experiences.

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