While in Samoa, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what they find in the United States. There is no law pertaining specifically to the status of disabled persons, although the “Samoa National Policy for Persons with Disabilities 2009-2012” emphasizes the Government’s commitment to the rights and empowerment of the disabled. This policy also recognizes that the family is the main source of their support. The “Ministry of Women, Community, and Social Development” is the government ministry responsible for public outreach and social development for persons with disabilities
Most major hotels, restaurants, and cafes are actively restructuring their facilities to accommodate persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities have easy access to medical facilities. However, disabled travelers should clarify with the hotel what accommodations are available before they book. Some family-based beach accommodations in the outer villages are also working to provide accessibility for disabled persons. Many of the new multi-story buildings provide ramps and elevators, but older public buildings do not. The blind and persons in wheelchairs or on crutches will have difficulty navigating in and around Apia because of a limited number of stoplights and sidewalks. Traffic is particularly hazardous for the disabled in rural areas that have no footpaths and sidewalks. Most buses and taxis do not have ramps to accommodate wheelchairs.