In 2000 Jordan celebrated its first-ever Olympic gold medal, won by the female athlete Maha Barghouthi in the Sydney Paralympics. It was a proud moment for Jordan, and it threw a spotlight on people with disabilities – albeit briefly. Almost two decades on, and Jordan is still not a great place for travellers with disabilities. Although Jordanians are happy to help, cities are crowded and the traffic is chaotic, roadside kerbs can be uncommonly high and visiting tourist attractions – such as the vast archaeological sites of Petra and Jerash – involves long traverses over uneven ground.
There is some good news, however:
- The Jordanian government has legislated that wheelchair access must be added to all new public buildings.
- Entry to some attractions, including Petra, is free for those with disabilities.
- Horse-drawn carriages are provided at Petra for visitors with disabilities to help with access to the Siq and Treasury.
- There is a useful website (www.accessiblejordan.com) providing some key information for those travelling with a mobility impairment in Jordan. This includes information for the elderly and for mums with strollers!
Accessible Travel Online Resources
Download Lonely Planet's free Accessible Travel guide from http://lptravel.to/AccessibleTravel.