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Consumer Newsletter – August 2010

August 2010



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.
Louis Braille did not really invent the Braille Alphabet. Rather it was a French soldier tasked with inventing a secret code for Napoleon, Charles Barbier, who created the raised and coded alphabet. In 1821, Barbier visited the school for blind children attended by Braille and brought his twelve-dot code with him. The code was too difficult for soldiers in Napoleon’s army to use; however, young Braille realized that it might work for blind children. By simplifying Barbier’s code and reducing it to six dots, Braille invented a reading system. Read More.
Costa Cruises welcomes guests to experience "Cruising Italian Style."  The spirit of Italy and the Italian way are the "amore" of a Costa Cruise. Once onboard, celebrate during the Festa Italiana, an Italian street festival at sea, or enjoy a cup of cappuccino pool side. Whatever one chooses to do onboard, Costa provides optimum service levels in order to enhance guests’ experiences and ensures enjoyment of voyages. This is especially important for any passengers with disabilities or impairments. 
All of Costa’s ships – except the Costa Marina – have accessible cabins. The Costa Concordia, Costa Serena and Costa Pacifica have the most accessible cabins with 29, followed by the Costa Fortuna and Costa Magica with 27. All Costa ships have accessible cabins available across different categories, with the exception of the Costa Allegra and Costa Romantica, both of which have Inside Singles only. The staterooms have accessible closet rods and lowered shelves. The bathrooms have a roll-in shower, grab bars, a lowered sink and a handheld showerhead; Costa will provide a fold down shower stool and/or toilet riser upon request. Read More.
Since the redevelopment of the Inner Harbor in the late 1970s, Baltimore has established itself as an American success story and a major travel destination. Today, more than 11 million travelers each year visit Baltimore for its world-famous seafood, sporting events, historical attractions, museums and other attractions.
At Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, tourists and locals come to explore the restaurants, shops, attractions and museums that make up this seaport tourist attraction. One of the more popular destinations at the Inner Harbor is the National Aquarium. From fish and amphibians to birds and reptiles, the Aquarium boasts more than 16,500 animals. The Aquarium is fully wheelchair accessible. It also provides Reserved Accessible Seating to its shows, a companion Accessibility Guide and Map that shows a wheelchair route, an Express Entry and on the first Saturdays and Sundays of the month, visitors with special needs and their guests may enter 30 minutes prior to the Aquarium opening to avoid the crowds. For guests who are deaf or hard of hearing, the Aquarium provides Assistive Listening Devices, Presentation Scripts and two Deaf Awareness Days where sign language interpreters are onsite interpreting presentations, shows and animal encounters. For guests who are Blind or Visually Impaired, the Aquarium provides an Audio Wireless Tour, Braille Tour and a Touch Bag of Tactile items representing animals in the exhibits. Other interesting attractions at the Inner Harbor are the Maryland Science Center and the American Visionary Art Museum, both of which are wheelchair accessible. Read More.
Interesting Fact: Baltimore is home to the first umbrella factory in America, established in 1828.
Cruise Lines out of the Port of Baltimore: American Cruise Lines, Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean


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"I find it fascinating that most people plan their vacations with better care than they plan their lives. Perhaps that is because escape is easier than change."
– Jim Rohn, American Speaker and Author

Delivering an Accessible World.

Toll Free: 1-800-513-4515
International: 1-954-585-0575

2860 West State Road 84, Suite 107, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312

About Special Needs at Sea and Special Needs Group…

Special Needs Group, Inc. is a one-stop resource for special needs travel around the world. We offer a broad range of special needs equipment for purchase and rental including wheelchairs, scooters, power chairs with capabilities to support 500 pound or more; oxygen (liquid, cylinder, and concentrator); hearing impaired equipment, Braille printing, baby cribs and more. Recommended by the world’s major cruise lines and hotels for superior service and value, we also provide consultation services regarding special needs policy and new-build design. Special Needs Group, a U.S. company, is not a travel agency; we do not compete in any way with travel agents.




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