The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that there be reasonable accommodations for those in wheelchairs and with disabilities. But not all states and cities are created equal and some do better than others when it comes to providing accessibility. Here are some cities in the United States that have made great strides in ensuring accessibility for wheelchair users.
1. Washington D.C.
If you want to visit the nation’s capital, you are in luck! The sidewalks are wider in the city and the Metro is known for being one of the most accessible transportation systems. There are also many accessible restaurants, restrooms and accommodations in the city.
2. San Francisco, California
It may not seem like it at first because San Francisco is known for its hills, but the city makes getting around in a wheelchair much easier. All their main public transportation services, including MUNI, Caltrain and BART, are accessible and drivers are also trained on how to secure wheelchairs. Popular tourist attractions, such as the Fisherman’s Wharf, are also accessible.
3. Denver, Colorado
Denver offers RTD Paratransit Services, Access-a-Ride, which provides public transportation to riders who have a disability which prevents them from using the local fixed route buses or light rail services. People with disabilities also get priority seating in this city. The sidewalks that are the most cared for are in the central business district, by the civic center and near the state capitol.
4. Seattle, Washington
Wheelchairtravel.org ranked this city as one of the top five for most accessible cities in the U.S. There is unprecedented accessibility for transportation and this includes water friendly taxis and ferries, which both feature power wheelchair ramps. The accessibility in this city makes it easier to navigate areas with hills, such as by the Seattle Aquarium and Space Needle.
5. Orlando, Florida
Orlando is home to Disney World and Universal Studios, and both theme parks are accessible. The public bus service does feature restraining belts for seats and hydraulic lifts. If you aren’t looking to do the theme parks, then there are plenty of restaurant accommodations that are accessible. There is something for everyone.
6. Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas wants to do what it can to make sure everyone has a great time. The establishments that are along the Strip are all electric wheelchair accessible, including the Zoomline. There are also many accessible hotel rooms with features that have roll-in showers and tubs with portable seats. To get around the city, Las Vegas Monorail and the bus service are accessible and can offer a discount for those with wheelchairs. Taxis also have lift-equipped vans.
7. Portland, Oregon
Portland is manual and power wheelchair friendly, as well as being environmentally friendly. The city’s TriMet transportation system is accessible and it includes the LIFT paratransit service for those who cannot ride a regular train or bus. Sidewalks in downtown are also smooth, making them a great surface for a power chair. You can also take in some scenic views on accessible hiking trails.
8. Chicago, Illinois
Some of the best power chair accessible attractions include the Sears Tower, Field Museum of Natural History and the Chicago Theatre. There is also Open Taxis, which is a centralized dispatch service to help provide wheelchair accessible vehicles to customers.
9. Atlanta, Georgia
The city is home to many well-known attractions that are designed for those who use wheelchairs. The Georgia Aquarium allows you to view thousands of different animal species and the whole place is accessible. Inside Centennial Olympic, every sidewalk is wheelchair friendly and the restrooms are ADA compliant.
10. Los Angeles, California
The weather in Los Angeles is great year-round, which makes it a great place to travel. Metro buses are equipped with wheelchair lifts and stations are also accessible. Popular tourist attractions are also accessible. The Consolidated Transportation Services Agency provides economical and convenient ride share service.