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I am bringing up this idea in light of Are there any Draisines-Railbike Companies that have wheelchair accessibility? as well as my question (Jury-rig a walker for outdoor activity that might involve reaching) which I initially asked at Lifehacks but will likely re-phrase and ask again here in a few days.

It seems we have a few users who are either mobility-limited themselves or have close loved ones who are. We all have motivation to still find ways to enjoy the Great Outdoors together, despite these limitations, and we all benefit by helping each other find these resources.

Could this SE benefit from having a tag to help highlight these questions, and if so, is "accessibility" the best wording for said tag?

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    I think this is a great topic and I would be very happy about questions related to that. In general I don't think tags need to be introduced formally, new ones should just come up naturally. However in this case the wording/naming/terminology (:P) might really be tricky and worth some thought. Accessibility is too unspecific as accessibility of a remote place is a generally important concept not limited to "mobility-limitations", but I can't think of anything good either. – imsodin Feb 9 '17 at 16:01
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    I say this is a great idea, but agree with imsodin that its going to be tricky to get the wording right, especially as how to describe it without offending anyone – Charlie Brumbaugh Feb 9 '17 at 16:54
  • Although it seems like an obvious yes because it's such an important topic, I struggle to think of what questions you could ask that wouldn't be covered by existing tags. E.g. asking about a walker for outdoor use should simply have the equipment tag as to someone using one it's just another bit of equipment. – Niall Feb 9 '17 at 19:01
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    @Niall This question is quite specific in nature and could deal with things that are not equipment related such as terrain that could be used with wheelchairs and so on. – Ken Graham Feb 9 '17 at 19:07
  • Thanks so much for this post, and for leaving a comment on the question pointing to it. Hopefully it will bring in other readers who don't usually come to meta. I'm preparing an answer because I can't seem to stay short enough for comments! I'm 100% in favor of helping people with certain concerns find related questions. @Niall, I agree that some could use generic tags like equipment or camping, but others might be better served with something more specific. I'll try to include examples in my answer! – Sue Feb 9 '17 at 19:57
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    Take care with "accessibility" - not because of possible offence, but because is very similar to "access-rights" and might get used where the latter was intended. – Toby Speight Feb 10 '17 at 13:13
  • I've created a tag for this outdoors.stackexchange.com/questions/tagged/disabiliy-options. Feel free to add usage guidance, etc. – Liam Feb 10 '17 at 15:42
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    @Liam - Ummmm, you mis-spelled it. – cobaltduck Feb 10 '17 at 15:46
  • Damn it, I cut and pasted from Kens answer... :) – Liam Feb 10 '17 at 15:49
  • Try again – Liam Feb 10 '17 at 15:49
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Thanks so much for bringing up this very important discussion topic. I see it as an exciting opportunity for us! In the words of @Ken Graham:

This not only will make many individuals happier in the Great Outdoors, it will expand the awesomeness of this site and communicating that we are thinking of others.

I see @imsodin's point about avoiding adding tags before we really need them. On the other hand, I love tags and use them frequently. I even searched for an accessibility-type tag when the bike-wheelchair question came up, but didn't find one. Then I did a text search in the Q&A box and found the word "accessible" in 98 posts, and "access" in 252. They're used in a number of situations so it supports what seems to be the decision not to rely on it.

However, that might actually be a good reason to add a more specific tag.

I don't know what to name it, and think a lot of things would work. My various issues come from a number of different circumstances. I have an inner ear disease so I've lost almost all of my hearing. The same disease causes vertigo and other problems with balance. The rest are mostly from accidents and another disease. I fall into categories including "disabled", "challenged", "handicapped", "limited", "injured", "impaired", "ill", "compromised". Please don't see this as an invitation to feel sorry for me. In fact, I don't like that. I'm just saying that I don't mind these labels. People with mental or psychological impairments, or other diseases that carry more stigma might be more sensitive to the wording.

If everyone likes , I'm fine with that! Whatever name we end up with, I'd like to suggest using "impairments" in the description. Also, what if we kept the "wiki" more general, and then got more specific in the longer "information" section?

@Charlie Brumbaugh, what do you think of using this for the "wiki" part:

Questions about improving the access to or enjoyment of the Outdoors for people with disabilities, impairments, limitations or special needs of any kind.

For some people like me, in order to enjoy life to the fullest, and especially outdoors, accommodations and adjustments have to be made, so maybe those might be good words to use somewhere in the longer description. Some tag descriptions point to questions that have been used as examples, so we could use the two you referred to in this question.

I have a few ideas for questions that could use these tags. @niall, I'm not saying they wouldn't be fine with our generic tags, but I think they'd be better with something more specific.

  • Does the (State Park, historic location, etc.) provide wheelchairs or walkers for those of us who only sometimes need them? (Yes, many places keep wheelchairs, etc. for just that purpose.)

  • Which stops along the road up Cadillac Mountain in Maine have handicapped bathrooms?

  • Is there a wildlife sanctuary in Massachusetts that caters to visually-impaired people? (The answer is yes. Audubon has a sanctuary that has a wheel-chair accessible trail that also has ropes to hold onto and signs that have braille.)

  • What are the laws in (geographic location, park, cruise, hotel, camping trail, etc.) regarding bringing a service dog?

  • Do any of the restaurants mentioned in (choose an existing question with a location someone has visited) have a gluten-free menu? (This question was a direct result of @Ken Graham's comment on Charlie Brumbaugh's answer. I'm glad he mentioned it because I have a daughter-in-law and granddaughter who both have celiac disease and peanut allergies. They do a lot of traveling, and have to be very careful where they eat. Many travelers are similarly affected, so it's an important consideration.)

Maybe other people could add some example questions regarding different types of special needs.

Thanks again to all of you!

  • I so glad you mentioned gluten free menus in your answer. Many larger chain restaurants have gluten free menus and larger cities even have totally gluten free restaurants, but in parks and towns they are harder to find. – Ken Graham Feb 10 '17 at 0:46
  • @KenGraham Thanks for this. It reminded me that I totally plagiarized your comment on Charlie Brumbaugh's answer! I'm so sorry, I meant to give you credit for that. I'm glad you mentioned it because I have family who have those dietary restrictions, as you can see in my edit. Thanks for understanding! – Sue Feb 10 '17 at 0:58
  • I like the example text – Charlie Brumbaugh Feb 10 '17 at 3:37
  • Thank you very much in return, for this well thought and well expressed response. I think we have adequate positive feedback, let's run with it. – cobaltduck Feb 10 '17 at 13:20
  • @cobaltduck Thanks so much for the support. I think the tag looks excellent on that question, definitely the right choice! – Sue Feb 10 '17 at 18:19
  • Sue this might interest you: Disabilities Lifehack Area 51. – Ken Graham Mar 13 '17 at 11:57
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Possible text,

Disability-options

Questions about improving the access to or enjoyment of the Outdoors for people with physical or intellectual disabilities, limitations or special needs.

  • I like it. Disability options could be in place for more than just wheelchair accessibility or those with physical limitations as we normally understand them. For example, Celiac and gluten intolerance now classified as 'disability'. – Ken Graham Feb 9 '17 at 18:33
  • I made an edit to slightly expand your answer. If you are uncomfortable with it, please feel free to rollback. – Ken Graham Feb 9 '17 at 18:37
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disability-options

Personally I think this is a great step forward to promoting this site.

Just as @imsodin stated in his comment: "In general I don't think tags need to be introduced formally, new ones should just come up naturally."

The real question here is how to name a new tag for questions that deal with accessibility issues for people with mobility or other issues. The term accessibility, could be wrongly interpreted to mean a large host of meanings, such as parking accessibility or park accessibility limitations due to closures for one reason or another.

To be honest, I am not sure how such a tag should be named, but here is what I might suggest (I am not trying to get the greatest answer here, but hoping to see this site genuinely expanding for those with real life physical limitations):

  1. Handicap-options

  2. Disability-options

  3. Special-needs

  4. Physically-limited

Personally, I believe the tag should be disability-options. The tag should be named in such a fashion that the average person would understand its' meaning and will not give offense to other with physical limitations. I think this tag name would fit the bill. My wife has serious physical limitations and has told me that the term "disability-options" is not offensive to her in the least. If you guys think otherwise, I am good with that too.

In any case, cobaltduck, I wish to thank you for bringing this subject up, this not only will make many individuals happier in the Great Outdoors, it will expand the awesomeness of this site and communicating that we are thinking of others.

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