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Hawaii Island Special Needs Travel Tips
From accessing airports, seeing the sights, visiting the beach or renting a car, Hawaii Island has options available for travelers with special needs. Hawaii Island comes under the jurisdiction of the Americans with Disabilities Act, so stairs should have a corresponding ramp and escalators a corresponding elevator. Many of the hotels are equipped with wheelchair-accessible rooms, and tour companies provide many special services for travelers with limited mobility. The following listings are not an endorsement for any particular company, business or product.
Every airline provides assistance to passengers with special needs through their skycap (porter) service. Please advise your airline in advance to arrange for any special services to ensure assistance.
Traveling with your wheelchair
Most airlines transport personal wheelchairs including folding, collapsible or non-folding manual wheelchairs, and electric/battery powered wheelchairs and electric powered carts. Typically, 48 hours advance notice and one hour for check-in on day of departure is needed for any electric/battery-powered chairs.
The Hele-On Bus
The Hawaii County Mass Transit Agency provides public transportation around the island on the Hele-On-Bus. All buses are wheelchair accessible. Contact the County of Hawaii, Mass Transit for routes, schedules, hours of operation and purchasing taxi coupons at (808) 961-8744.
With advance notice, car rental companies will provide accessible transportation from the airport, from the car rental booth to vehicle pickup point, or will deliver the vehicle to the airport terminal. You can also rent wheelchair accessible vans. Call for more information:
Wheelers Van Rentals of Hawaii: (877) 735-6365
Wheelchair Getaways of Hawaii: (800) 638-1912
The State of Hawaii recognizes valid disability parking placards issued by other states and countries for parking in designated, accessible parking spaces. Parking placards must hang from the vehicle’s rearview mirror when the vehicle is parked in a designated space.
If your hotel does not have the equipment you need to make your stay comfortable, the following Hawaii Island companies rent wheelchairs and other medical equipment.
Apria Healthcare: (808) 969-1211
Big Island Medical: (808) 323-3313
Rainbow Medical Supply, Inc.: (808) 982-3830
Shiigi Drug: (808) 935-0001
Access to Beaches and Trails
Select beach parks are accessible on Hawaii Island. Call the County of Hawaii, Department of Parks and Recreation for a list at (808) 961-8311.
For more detailed information for travelers with disabilities download at: http://www.hawaii.gov/health/dcab/docs/TravelHawaii.pdf
If you have questions regarding traveling in Hawaii with disabilities, call the Commission on Persons with Disabilities at (808) 586-8121 or the Hawaii Centers for Independent Living at (808) 522-5400, or 545-1143.