New Directions, for people with disabilities, Inc. (New Directions Travel) is a non-profit organization based in Santa Barbara, CA. Working as a travel agency for people with developmental disabilities since 1985, they have traveled with over 33,000 travelers to over 65 countries. In a progressive country like the United States, we would have guessed that there are plentiful opportunities for people with disabilities. However, compared to some other countries, who still have not yet reached the level of sufficiency, we are way behind. With the mission to change the way the world views disability - one adventure at a time, New Directions creates opportunities for high- quality local, national, and international travel vacations and holiday programs for people with mild to moderate developmental disabilities.
Beginning in March of 2018, I have been working with them as their Social Media Intern. In this role, I manage their social media accounts (mainly Facebook) and create content to engage existing and potential travelers, tour guides, volunteers, and donors. But of course, with a group that amazing, it did not take long for me to go on a tour myself. So, in December of 2018, I went on my first, but not definitely not last, tour with them to Disneyland as part of their Holiday Happiness program. It was 4 days of Disneyland, fun, food, friends, and smiles. In the summer of 2019, I went on two more tours with them to the Queen Mary in Long Beach and Rankin Dude Ranch.
The following are two blogs I wrote for their organization for marketing for two social media campaigns, #GivingTuesday and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, respectively.