KHM Travel Agent Featured in Campaign Empowering Disabled Women
Written by: Amanda on August 31, 2015
Imagine feeling like you couldn’t travel. Not because you couldn’t afford it, or you couldn’t find the time, but because the world appeared to be ill-equipped to accommodate you.
Jeanette McGurty felt that way before she became a travel agent in 2013. She has Cerebral Palsy, and uses a power wheelchair. She loves to travel, but had trouble finding a travel agency that truly understood her needs.
“This forced me to research and book all my own trips,” says Jeanette. “I thought, what if I could become that person for other travelers with limited mobility… it could be a good opportunity to help myself and others.”
Her husband helped her research host agencies, and KHM Travel Group stood out to her. She launched her travel agency, JTMVacations, based in Rockville, Maryland.
“KHM gives me a chance to be my own boss, doing something I love – travel. I do specialize in ADA travel,” she says.
Being an expert in accessible travel allowed her to take the Mediterranean cruise of a lifetime on the Carnival Freedom in 2007 in which she visited Italy, Greece, and Turkey. She’s also traveled extensively throughout Europe and the Caribbean.
Jeanette’s undaunted spirit made her a perfect role model for the Bold Beauty Project, a visual arts campaign working to change the stereotypes associated with disabilities. The project originated in Miami, and Jeanette got involved when her friends decided to bring the show to Washington DC.
The project showcases those with disabilities as beautiful, confident and fearlessly living their lives.
“My life breaks the stereotypes of a disabled person,” says Jeanette. “I’m married, I have a home, and just had a baby. I’m a federal employee by day and a Travel Specialist all other times of the day.”
For her photo shoot, the photographer assigned to Jeanette asked her what made her feel beautiful and happy. She responded, “going on a cruise, or booking a
cruise for another person that also uses a wheelchair.”
The photographer called Carnival, and the cruise line was happy to help. They set up Jeanette, her husband, and her photographer with a guide for the day onboard Carnival Pride.
The ship was busy that Sunday, with passengers embarking and disembarking, and a ship inspection underway. Jeanette even ran into KHM Travel’s Carnival BDM, Chris Schutz, who sent us this photo she had taken with Jeanette!
Jeanette looks forward to broadening horizons for others with special needs.
“I planned a cruise for a client that never traveled before because they were scared because they were in a wheelchair,” she says. “I got them over that fear quick. I think she is hooked on cruising.”
We are honored and inspired to have Jeanette among our family of agents. Thanks to her, and to Chris Schutz for bringing their chance meeting to our attention!
Check out the Bold Beauty Project’s website for more information on their mission.