Travel service for disabled

PHILADELPHIA, PA.; August 26, 2008

One by one, the wheelchairs come off the bus, as the latest 'Let's Travel' outing arrives at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

'Let's Travel' was created by Brian Newbert after he was paralyzed in a work accident 7 years ago.

He hated being cooped up at home, and realized others with disabilities feel the same way.

Newbert told Action News, "They can go to the park, or get on a bus, and maybe they can go to the mall, but that's about it. And that's no good, that wasn't good enough for me


Newbert decided to launch his own non-profit business, buying a small bus with donations.

The first donation came from Christopher Reeve.

Now 'Let's Travel' organizes trips and provides free transportation to the same recreational opportunities that able-bodied people enjoy.

Scott Simpkins, of Williamstown, New Jersey, does get out for work and school, but loves these adventures.

Simpkins says, "Amazingly, the first trip I did with him was a camping trip. It just blew my mind that here was a C-1 quadriplegic would go for an overnight camping trip."

On this trip, the travelers are exploring the museum's modern treasures, including works by the Impressionists. The group is riveted on museum guide Joe Haro as he refers to a Vincent Van Gogh painting of sunflowers, telling them, "This type of work set the stage for what was to come in modern art."

Newbert says some with disabilities are afraid to get out & about, but he's persistent.

With a smile, he says, "I would go to their house, and bang on the door, and try to get them to come out. Or I would keep calling them on the phone."

Supporters say 'Let's Travel' is breaking down barriers.

Chris Miles, of Miles Technologies, a computer and IT service company, has been a supporter of Let's Travel from its early days. It's a corporate, and personal mission for Miles, whose mother-in-law has disabilities.

He says, "What Brian does is get people back into society. It's invaluble. And it is a service that's never been available before."

Upcoming trips include Longwood Gardens, the Cape May Zoo, and a trip to wherever people want to go. Newbert says he'll go as far as the donations take them.

For more information, call 'Let's Travel' at 856-753-0776.

Copyright © 2023 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.