This Family Goes Beyond the Talk of Easy Travel

Sisters Annie Lacchman and Lakshmee Lacchman-Persad were born in the South American country of Guyana.

The sisters lived in Gauyana most of their childhood before moving to the United States with their parents as teenagers. Lacchman-Persad said the family was normal, despite the fact that Annie was born with cerebral palsy.

“We have all learned how to get along with him, how to be his reasonable home so that he and each of us can live to our full potential,” he said.

The family loved to travel, but when Annie became disabled, they began to see how little information and accommodations were available for those with disabilities in the travel and tourism industry.

So, four years ago, Lacchman-Persad created a blog, Accessible Travel NYC to change that. The mission of the blog is to inspire and empower people with disabilities and their families to enjoy all that tourism has to offer in New York City.

Lakshmee Lacchman-Persad, with her sister Annie Lacchman and their mother at Grand Central Terminal to view MTA Away ads featuring Annie and her mother. Photo: Lakshmee Lacchman-Persad.

“At the time, I had worked in tourism marketing in NYC for almost 20 years and never marketed to people with disabilities,” he said. “After trying to ask some well -known organization to do it without too much luck, I decided to do it with the support of my family.”

By documenting travel experiences the family has had, Lachman-Persad said they have become their own representation. They also make sure to provide accessible feedback.

When planning a day out, some of the biggest family challenges are finding accessible restrooms and restaurants. Another big challenge is the weather, which they worry about.

Lacchman-Persad said she wants to see more integrated marketing to people with disabilities and more programs they lead, in addition to the accommodations and accessibility information that is always provided.

Lakshmee Lacchman-Persad and her sister Annie Lacchman at Lincoln Center Jazz Weekend, in front of the stairs. Photo: Lakshmee Lacchman-Persad.

The Persad brothers were also part of an episode of the Met podcast last year and were featured in a video by NYC and Company, the city’s official travel marketing organization.

You can read more about the family’s NYC travel experiences here. The blog also provides information on accommodations for certain hotels, wheelchair access for certain restaurants, and accessible transportation throughout the city.

Do you have any questions about planning an accessible trip? If so, you can email Lakshmee Lacchman-Persad at accessibletravelnyc@gmail.com.

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