FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., Nov. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Special Needs Group ® / Special Needs at Sea ® (SNG) www.specialneedsgroup.com, the leading global provider of special needs equipment rentals, celebrated the fifth anniversary of its Certified Accessible Travel Advocate™ Program on Nov. 11 by announcing a milestone achievement: 3,131 travel professionals are now SNG Certified Accessible Travel Advocates. This far exceeds the number of certifications SNG leaders anticipated for the five-year mark, when the program was launched. Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161116/440435 Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20161116/440439LOGO "We are thrilled that 3,131 travel professionals have earned their designation as SNG Certified Accessible Travel Advocates," stated Andrew J Garnett, SNG president & CEO. "Our internal goal at the inception of the program was 2,000 certifications in the first five years. The overwhelming support we have received is indicative of the resplendent character and empathy throughout the travel agency/agent distribution system." SNG's powerful online Certified Accessible Travel Advocate course is the travel industry's first eLearning curriculum that allows travel professionals to become conversant with the accessible travel market segment through online study and testing. The groundbreaking initiative is not only leading to a more accessible world, but also providing increased success for travel professionals. In addition, SNG named Debra Kerper of Cruise Planners — Easy Access Travel in Carrollton, Texas as the company's Power Partner of the Year. "Debra is a shining example of the indomitable spirit possessed by Americans with disabilities," said Garnett. "Within four months of becoming a bilateral amputee, she has escorted groups on cruises to Alaska and beyond. She leads by example and is most deserving of this award and recognition."