Western Alum and Disability Advocate Daman Wandke Launches AbiliTrek

by Lynsey Amundson
Office of Communications and Marketing intern
Friday, May 19, 2017 - 11:04am

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WWU alumnus Daman Wandke, second from left, has launched Abilitrek, an online travel booking website that provides travelers with disabilities a place to search and select hotels based on the specific disability needs that are stored in their profile.

Western Washington University alumnus Daman Wandke, CEO of AbiliTrek, officially launched the website for his company in front of supporters Monday, April 25 at Kombucha Town.

AbiliTrek (https://www.abilitrek.com), an online travel booking website, provides travelers with disabilities a place to search and select hotels based on the specific disability needs that are stored in their user profile on the website. The website also allows travelers to share their travel experiences with others, connecting people with similar needs, so future travelers know what to expect.

“As a national disability advocate, I travel a lot, most recently to San Francisco, and reflecting on my own experiences a lot of hotels don’t typically have what they say they have in terms of disability accommodations,” Wandke said. “My hope through launching this company is to make the process of traveling a lot easier.”

Wandke originally started his business at the Bellingham Startup Challenge in January, 2016. This served as an ignition point for his idea, where he and his three other team members took first place. His team is currently participating in the University of Washington Business Plan Competition, sharing their business plan model with more than 300 judges. The AbiliTrek team was just selected to advance to the Sweet 16 round of the competition on Thursday, May 25, where they will give a 15-minute presentation to seven judges about AbiliTrek future plans.

During his time at Western, he co-founded Students for Disability Awareness, using the organization’s success to advocate for the creation of the Associated Students Disability Outreach Center (DOC). The DOC is a resource for students with disabilities that provides information, referrals and education programs relating to disabilities, and last month hosted the tenth annual Disability Awareness last month, an event Wandke started.

“Bellingham is where my idea and model was created, so I urge people to support local and my dream by booking on my website even if you don’t have a disability,” Wandke said.

For more information on AbiliTrek, contact Daman Wandke at daman@accesstravel.co.