RALEIGH, N.C. — If you’re starting to plan your summer travels, your biggest obstacle may be COVID-19 or finding the right flight.
But travel for people with disabilities is especially challenging. It's not just boarding a plane or picking up luggage — what if you can’t even find a place to accommodate you and your belongings?
Lorraine Woodward was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at the age of 2.
For the last 21 years, she’s lived in a house she helped create to be wheelchair-friendly. She says homes like hers are few and far between, especially among vacation rentals.
That gave her the idea to build an accessible rental home at Carolina Beach, and then she realized she had just built one of the only properties in the country available for people with all kinds of needs.
“It’s not cool when you can't take a vacation, can’t go to neighbor's house and have a cup of coffee. Those things are hard. But we look at other ways to achieve those goals,” Woodward said.
She’s using designs from her home to model other vacation properties in Raleigh, Tennessee and Arkansas.
She also created the website Becoming RentABLE for people with disabilities to find rentals that fit their needs.
Her motivation isn't just for herself, but for her boys. They are also diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, and she wants to make sure they always have a place to vacation.
“Nathan and Alexander, as they graduate from college and they become active young adults in the world, providing opportunities for them to enjoy a vacation for all of us,” Woodward said.