Consumer Newsletter May 2011

May 2011       HOW THE RISE OF OBESITY IN AMERICA IS INCREASING DEMAND FOR BARIATRIC EQUIPMENT FOR TRAVEL AND MORE   It's a fact: 93 million Americans are overweight. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one in three Americans is overweight. Another one-third is obese, meaning they are at least 20 percent heavier than their ideal body weight. Approximately one in 20 people is morbidly obese, or 50 to 100 percent above his/her…

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SPECIAL NEEDS GROUP NAMED EXCLUSIVE SUPPLIER OF SPECIAL NEEDS EQUIPMENT FOR NORWEGIAN CRUISE LINE

  Fort Lauderdale, FL – Special Needs Group, Inc. (www.specialneedsgroup.com), a global provider of special needs equipment for the travel industry, was recently named the exclusive special needs equipment supplier for Norwegian Cruise Line (www.ncl.com), one of the world’s major cruise companies.  The agreement, which is effective immediately, applies to all 11 ships of Norwegian’s fleet including their newest and largest ship the 4,100-guest Norwegian Epic.  “We are proud to be affiliated with Norwegian Cruise Line, an outstanding cruise company…

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NCL switches to Special Needs Group

    Thursday, 14th April 2011 Norwegian Cruise Line appointed Special Needs Group as its exclusive supplier of mobility and oxygen equipment. The cruise operator formerly worked with CareVacations. Effective immediately, the agreement applies to all 11 NCL ships. Andrew Garnett, founder and CEO of Special Needs Group, noted that larger ships such as Norwegian Epic, coupled with an aging US and European population and an existing market of 43m individuals with disabilities, increases the need for wheelchairs, oxygen, scooters…

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SPECIAL NEEDS GROUP EXPANDS SPECIAL NEEDS EQUIPMENT RENTALS TO ORLANDO

Fort Lauderdale, FL – Special Needs Group, Inc., a global provider of special needs equipment for travelers and the travel industry, recently announced that it will expand its special needs equipment rental services to major Orlando locations, including theme parks, hotels, resorts, villas, the Orange County Convention Center, Orlando Science Center and more.  As the preferred mobility and oxygen supplier to Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Carnival and other major cruise lines, Special Needs Group will now deliver the same high-quality,…

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MOBILITY SCOOTER ETIQUETTE / TIPS FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

As baby boomers are now in or reaching their mature years, a record number of people are driving around in mobility scooters, whether it be on vacation, in a supermarket, at a convention, etc. While those driving scooters deserve the respect of others in order to smoothly operate their equipment, driving a scooter is a two-way street. If scooter drivers are conscious and courteous of those around them, they make it safer and more pleasurable for pedestrians and others. Surprisingly,…

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SPECIAL NEEDS GROUP DONATES NEW WHEELCHAIR IN BRAZIL

In October of 2010 Special Needs Group donated a new transport wheelchair to 12-year old, Rita de Santos of Ceara, Brazil. Rita, a child born with both physical and mental disabilities, and her mother, Tieta, live alone in the barrio community of Favela dos Cocos.  Tieta works various odd jobs including cleaning houses and vending on the streets to provide her daughter and her with bare essentials. In order for Tieta to arrive at her jobs, to take Rita to…

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Consumer Newsletter Jan. / Feb. 2011

Jan. / Feb. 2011       MOBILITY SCOOTER ETIQUETTE/TIPS   As baby boomers are now in or reaching their mature years, a record number of people are driving around in mobility scooters, whether it be on vacation, in a supermarket, at a convention, etc. While those driving scooters deserve the respect of others in order to smoothly operate their equipment, driving a scooter is a two-way street. If scooter drivers are conscious and courteous of those around them, they…

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TIPS FOR TRAVELING HEALTHY FOR TRAVELERS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

  The New Year is here. Whether your journeys are to foreign lands or to visit family and friends, Special Needs Group offers these tips to help you stay healthy while away from home.   Be Informed Before traveling, check with the Center for Disease Control for updates on any outbreaks or health warning for the countries on your itinerary. The recent outbreak of Cholera in Haiti is an example. The CDC will also recommend any shots or vaccinations required…

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Consumer Newsletter – Nov./Dec. 2010

Nov./Dec. 2010       NEW ONLINE RESERVATION AND BOOKING SERVICE FOR WHEELCHAIR AND SCOOTER RENTALS Travelers with special needs and slow walkers can now book wheelchair rentals and scooter rentals online through Special Needs Group's new internet booking tool. The new online booking tool enables you to book equipment 24 hours a day / 7 days a week. Travelers may choose from a variety of scooters, accommodating up to 500 pounds or wheelchairs, accommodating travelers weighting up to 750 pounds. Once booked…

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Consumer Newsletter – October 2010

October 2010       CRUISE LINE ACCESSIBILITY   With all the cruise ships currently sailing and the cruise industry's recent building "boom" - - 52 NEW vessels delivered or on order between 2009 and 2010 - - it is not always clear as to which ships are the most accessible and the best for sailing.   Special Needs Group highly recommends that you work with travel professionals who have experience booking special needs travel. A specialized agent can help…

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TIPS FOR FLYING ABROAD FOR TRAVELERS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

September and October, the traditional “shoulder season” between summer’s high season and winter’s low season are good months for slow walkers and individuals with special needs to travel. There are fewer tourists overall, meaning more space on walkways, fewer lines for museums and other attractions. Prices drop too, especially for international destinations. If you are planning to take advantage of shoulder season to travel abroad, here are a few facts you should know before embarking on an international trip. Booking…

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Consumer Newsletter – September 2010

September 2010       TIPS FOR FLYING ABROAD FOR TRAVELERS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS   September and October, the traditional "shoulder season" between summer's high season and winter's low season are good months for slow walkers and individuals with special needs to travel. There are fewer tourists overall, meaning more space on walkways, fewer lines for museums and other attractions. Prices traditionally drop, too, especially for international destinations.   If you are planning to take advantage of shoulder season to…

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A SALUTE TO INVENTORS AND ACCESSIBILITY INVENTIONS

August is National Inventor Month, a time to celebrate the creative men and women who dare to think differently and bravely confront ridicule to bring solutions, ease, excitement and accessibility into our lives. Because we work with wheelchairs, scooters and other special needs equipment, we are devoting the month of August to uncovering the invention of key assist items.  Braille  Louis Braille did not really invent the Braille Alphabet. Rather it was a French soldier tasked with inventing a secret code for…

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Consumer Newsletter – August 2010

August 2010       A SALUTE TO INVENTORS AND ACCESSIBILITY INVENTIONS   August is National Inventor Month, a time to celebrate the creative men and women who dare to think differently and bravely confront ridicule to bring solutions, ease, excitement and accessibility into our lives. Because we work with wheelchairs, scooters and other special needs equipment, we are devoting the month of August to uncovering the invention of key assist items.   Braille Louis Braille did not really invent…

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The Americans With Disability Act, 20 Years of Progress As World Continues to Welcome Slow Walkers and Travelers with Special Needs

This year, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) celebrates its 20th Anniversary. Since the ADA’s inception, we have seen significant changes within the travel industry including accessibility across the fleet for cruise ships, including foreign-flagged vessels carrying U.S. passengers and more ramps, railings and grab bars in public venues. We have also seen a deepening respect and higher level of acceptance for all forms of ability differences. Looking ahead, there are new provisions being implemented that will bring even more…

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SPECIAL NEEDS GROUP WINS CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY PROGRAM OF THE YEAR IN 2010 AMERICAN BUSINESS AWARDS

FORT LAUDERDALE- Special Needs Group Inc., (www.specialneedsgroup.com) a leader in providing special needs equipment to travelers worldwide, was honored as the winner of the 2010 Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year “Stevie”, part of the nationwide 2010 American Business Awards. The awards were presented during ceremonies at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City on Monday evening, June 21. Cheryl Casone of Fox Business Network hosted the event which was broadcast live nationwide by the Business TalkRadio Network.  In winning…

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Consumer Newsletter – July 2010

            July 2010       HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE AMERICANS WITH DISABILITY ACT   This year, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) celebrates its 20th Anniversary. Since the ADA's inception, we have seen significant changes within the travel industry including accessibility across the fleet for cruise ships, including foreign-flagged vessels carrying U.S. passengers and more ramps, railings and grab bars in public venues. We have also seen a deepening respect and higher level of…

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SPECIAL NEEDS GROUP, INC. CHOSEN AS FINALIST FOR 2010 AMERICAN BUSINESS AWARDS FOR CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

FT LAUDERDALE, FL—Andrew Garnett, founder and CEO Special Needs Group, Inc., announced today that Special Needs Group, a global supplier of special needs equipment for travelers, has been named a finalist for the 8th Annual American Business Awards 2010 “The Stevie Awards” in the category for Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year.  As strong advocates for the disabled, Special Needs Group (www.specialneedsgroup.com) helps thousands of individuals each year enjoy barrier-free travel. According to Garnett, the company’s corporate mission is best…

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Wheelchair Accessories for Safety, Comfort and Individuality

  When driving a car, car owners make sure their cars provide safety and comfort. Many also like to add personality to their cars by decorating them with bumper stickers, license plate frames, detailing and more. Just like a car, wheelchair owners look for safety, comfort and individuality when using their wheelchair. Thanks to our readers, we recently learned about three products that are lesser known but significantly enhance a wheelchair user’s experience. Although Special Needs Group/Special Needs at Sea…

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CHOOSING A SPECIAL NEEDS TOUR OR EXCURSION

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – Are you a traveler with a special need looking to add an excursion or tour to your cruise vacation plans? Perhaps you are simply a slow walker. Whatever your level of need, a tour or excursion specifically designed to accommodate travelers with special needs will be easier and more enjoyable. Today, there are more travel agents than ever offering trips and excursions for persons with special needs. These professionals understand your physical limitations, know how to book accessible…

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Consumer Newsletter – May 2010

May 2010       CHOOSING A SPECIAL NEEDS TOUR OR EXCURSION   Group travel options for persons with special needs are becoming more popular and more varied. Whether you use a wheelchair, need oxygen, have a hearing impairment or rely on a service animal, there is a group trip for you. Here are a few tips for finding and enjoying the right trip.  Use an agency with solid experience organizing group trips for persons with disabilities, preferably one that…

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GROUP TRAVEL FOR PERSONS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

Ft. Lauderdale, FL (March 13, 2010) - Group travel options for persons with special needs are becoming more popular and more varied. Whether you use a wheelchair, need oxygen, have a hearing impairment or rely on a service animal, there is a group trip for you. Andrew Garnett, founder and CEO of Special Needs Group/Special Needs at Sea offers a few tips for finding and enjoying the right trip.  Use an agency with solid experience organizing group trips for persons with…

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Consumer Newsletter – April 2010

April 2010       GROUP TRAVEL FOR PERSONS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS   Group travel options for persons with special needs are becoming more popular and more varied. Whether you use a wheelchair, need oxygen, have a hearing impairment or rely on a service animal, there is a group trip for you. Here are a few tips for finding and enjoying the right trip.  Use an agency with solid experience organizing group trips for persons with disabilities, preferably one that…

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Cruising with a Special Needs Child

Cruising is an excellent vacation choice for families with a special needs child. It’s a chance to visit multiple destinations without flying or driving from city to city and the family only has to unpack once--important plus for your special needs child. Once settled into your stateroom, there are few disruptions to routine. Today’s passenger cruise ships are very accommodating to persons with special needs, and more kid-friendly than ever. Almost all ships offer supervised, age-appropriate activities for children plus…

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“SPRING BREAK” PRICE SAVINGS PLUS FEES WAIVED FOR ALL ONE-WAY RENTALS

Cruise the world and save up to 15 percent on wheelchair rentals, scooter rentals, oxygen and more.  FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (March 2, 2010) —Need a wheelchair, scooter, oxygen concentrator, visual aides or other special needs equipment for an upcoming cruise vacation? Book any piece of special needs equipment from Special Needs Group/Special Needs at Sea during the month of March and pocket savings of up to fifteen percent.  Additionally, Special Needs Group is waiving all fees for one-way rentals booked in…

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Which Mobility Equipment is Right for Me – Scooter, Wheelchair or Powerchair?

As 2009 closed, several new ships made a huge splash within the cruise industry, foreshadowing the future of cruising, including Disney Cruise Lines’ 4,000-passenger Dream and Royal Caribbean Cruises’ 5,400-passenger Oasis of the Seas, the largest passenger cruise ship ever floated. Within the next twelve months, several more behemoth vessels will enter the waters including Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas, sister ship to the Oasis; and the largest ship ever for Norwegian Cruise Line, the 4,200-passenger Epic. With increased…

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It’s Big, Wide Accessible World, Go Explore and Enjoy

Did you ever cancel a trip because of a bad knee or other mobility impairment? Have you avoided cruises and family events that require travel for fear you’ll need oxygen mid-trip? Relax. Today’s world is more accessible than ever, and for anyone with special requirements for traveling, there’s a world of information and help waiting for you. It’s disappointing to be left behind or to have to leave a loved one behind because of a physical limitation or special travel…

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Taking Accessibility to New Levels: Oasis of the Seas

Royal Caribbean International’s (RCI) much anticipated next generation cruise ship, the Oasis of the Seas is ready for passengers. Rising sixteen decks high, she is the largest vessel afloat---and among the most accessible. We toured the ship recently and can report first hand that the Oasis of the Seas offers the largest number of accessible staterooms of any ship, a total of 46. For the newer ships in the fleet, RCI has consistently maintained a standard of 1.7 percent of all staterooms…

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Oxygen Onboard? Clearing the Air about Cruising with Oxygen

As a supplier of oxygen and other special needs equipment for travelers, I see first hand the uncertainty and confusion regarding traveling with oxygen, especially the rules and regulations for dealing with cylinders or other forms of portable oxygen on a cruise. Like everything in life, cruising with oxygen is simple, once you know the guidelines. After almost a decade of working with cruise ships and accessibility, here’s what I’ve learned that can ensure smooth sailing for anyone traveling with…

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SPECIAL NEEDS AT SEA WINS SEATRADE INSIDER “ONBOARD SUPPLIER OF THE YEAR” AWARD AT SEATRADE EUROPE 2009 CRUISE CONFERENCE

FT LAUDERDALE, FL - Special Needs at Sea, a global provider of special needs equipment for travelers and the travel industry, was honored as winner of the "Onboard Supplier of the Year" Award at the third annual Seatrade Insider Awards held in Hamburg, Germany on September 15; part of Seatrade Europe 2009.  "The high caliber of the Seatrade organization and strength of all the nominees make this award even more significant for us," says Andrew Garnett, founder and president of…

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