Unfortunately, the Turks and Caicos lags a bit behind compared to many western nations when it comes to accessibility for the physically handicapped and those with special needs. Many businesses, restaurants, and services in the Turks and Caicos are not handicapped-friendly.
Although not every business is accessible, for most physically disabled, there is a sufficient number of local accommodations and businesses on Providenciales to cater to a great vacation.
Local business Island Access rents beach and ocean wheelchairs, which have oversized tires that ‘float’ over the soft sand on our beaches.
Transport for Handicapped Persons
Unfortunately, handicapped transport options are limited. We’re unaware of any local taxis equipped with ramps or lifts.
Scooter Bob’s, which is one of the longest-standing car rental companies in the Turks and Caicos, does rent handicapped accessible vans.
Many of the larger and newer resorts, restaurants, and shops in the Turks and Caicos have clearly marked handicapped parking spaces, yet an ongoing problem is the use by non-handicapped drivers. With only a few exceptions, parking in the Turks and Caicos is free and usually easy to find, and those misusing spaces simply want to shorten an already short walk from a car to their final destination.
One problem in the islands is many disabled persons do use the special parking spaces, yet there’s no way to differentiate between cars that are appropriately using spaces, and those that are not. Plans have been underway for years in the Turks and Caicos for handicapped drivers to be issued special placards to display in cars, so as to help prevent misuse of spaces, however, as of yet implementation is limited.
Domestic Flights and Ferries and Accessibility
Domestic travel between our islands will unfortunately be difficult for disabled persons. Most transit between islands occurs either by small and cramped aircraft, or small passenger ferry boats. The staff of local transportation are typically happy to do everything they can to accommodate, yet the typical inter-island vessels are intrinsically a little difficult to get into and out of. See Domestic Flights and Ferries for more information on vessel types.
Food Allergies and Special Dietary Requirements
Several restaurants in the Turks and Caicos claim to be able to accommodate persons with food allergies, yet in the case of dangerous conditions, we highly advise contacting restaurants and dealing directly with the chefs and staff preparing food.
Unfortunately, many of the establishments that are able to cater to specific allergies and food intolerances are the higher priced-gourmet restaurants, and there are not as many lower-priced options.
Many restaurants in the Turks and Caicos have gluten-free and vegetarian dishes.
Beaches Turks and Caicos, an expansive family all-inclusive resort, is typically able to cater to special dietary needs, and has culinary concierge staff that work with guests prior to arrival to ensure all needs are met.
Rental villas should definitely be considered if persons visiting may have life-threatening food allergies. Most local property managers will be happy to ensure that kitchens are devoid of offending items, and can also stock the villa as required. If you’d rather not cook when on vacation, it’s also easy to arrange a private chef.