Holidays for the visually impaired – United Kingdom, EUROPE
Seable is the only multi-award winning tour operator to offer assisted, active and tailored holidays to the visually impaired
Seable strives to create accessible holidays that improve independence, inclusion and wellbeing, offering individual opportunities to increase confidence, learn new skills and make lifelong friends.
Clients are involved every step of the way, giving them the opportunity to take a lead in planning activities.
Going on Seable trips, customers find the confidence to go abroad independently, often for the very first time. For some it’s the thrill of trying a new sport, meeting new people and participating in life-changing adventures.
For others it’s simply the freedom to enjoy a fully tailored and stress-free break.
Through their work Seable raises awareness of issues around sight loss to the wider public. They encourage organisations to offer accessible services, activities, and volunteering opportunities.
The Seable story
Twenty years ago, the founder’s father, Carmelo, was hit by a drunk driver. While in hospital, he befriended a young man named Martino who had suffered a similar accident. As Carmelo recovered the use of his legs, Martino sadly did not.
During their conversations in hospital Martino expressed his desire to try scuba diving. At that time accessible scuba diving was not available in Sicily.
Being an experienced diver, Carmelo took it upon himself to teach Martino, who went on to receive a Guinness World Record as the first paraplegic man to dive 59 metres.
Together Carmelo and Martino started a charity that focuses on rehabilitation through accessible sports. They have helped many people over the years, including visually impaired Benedetta Spampinato, who has since achieved a World Record for deep sea diving.
This work inspired founder Damiano La Rocca to explore the topic of accessible tourism. He discovered that holidays for the visually impaired were not widely catered for and set out to change this.
Whilst studying at London Metropolitan University Damiano became involved with Accelerator, the University’s incubator, which offers students guidance for turning their ideas into business.
Damiano used the mentoring he received to start Seable Holidays.
Damiano is now a member of the Office for the Disability Issues for the Disability Regional Stakeholder Network and a member of the Accessible European Network of Accessible Tourism.
His work has been recognised by various organisations for its award-winning services, delivering and scaling social impact with ground-breaking support to the visually impaired.
- Postcode Lottery Social Investment award 2021
- School for Social Entrepreneurs (SSE) Scale up Award 2019
- Design for All Winner in 2016
- UnLtd SEE Change award winner in 2013, 2014 and 2016
- People’s Choice Award – Nacue Varsity Competition sponsored by Lloyds Bank in 2015
- Social Impact report
Italy, Thailand, Spain
Seable carries out social impact reports to identify changes in our clients wellbeing as a consequence of their Seable holiday:
100% of people travelling alone for the first time returned with increased confidence and independence
60% made new friends
40% started a new hobby, joined a sport team and started living more independently
The results have shown that participants felt able to achieve important personal goals and returned home with increased confidence in themselves. Most importantly, they feel part of an empowered community.
Seable needs your help
Seable is running a crowdfunding campaign to raise essential funds that will enable them to recover and rebuild post-pandemic; to safely continue their work delivering high quality, accessible and affordable holidays for the visually impaired community.
The impact of Covid-19 has been extremely tough on the visually-impaired community. There are over 350,000 blind people in the UK, of which two-thirds have become less independent and isolated since the start of the pandemic.
Now that it’s safe to operate again, we are determined to help counteract and overcome these issues. With rising costs of living, it is now more important than ever to keep Seable holidays affordable. The funds raised through the campaign will help to bring down these costs for those in need of extra support.
For each holiday destination they train local guides to become chaperones to help clients throughout their trip. Chaperones provide company, guidance and all round assistance.
Without chaperones, Seable simply cannot exist. During the pandemic they were unfortunately unable to provide further work for our chaperones. Donations through the campaign will help rebuild our team, relaunch our destinations and cover the costs of training, which would otherwise make the overall holiday unaffordable for our clients.