Take it offline!
This Education in Motion resource is also available as a printable PDF.
Travelling with your wheelchair can be a great challenge, no matter if you are looking to explore historic sites, art museums, aquariums, or theme parks. However, such a trip can still be memorable if you know the right place to visit and if your choice is a destination that complies with a certain degree of accessibility for people with disabilities.
For new travelers, here are a some factors you may have not considered if you are planning a getaway:
- Is the city wheelchair accessible? Is the publich transport barrier-free? What about the degree of accessibility in restaurants, stores, hotels, and other important facilities? Are the taxis equipped with ramps in order to enable wheelchair access? Are the pavements wide, well-preserved, and convenient for driving a wheelchair?
- Are medical services easily accessible in the city?
- Is the environment sensory positive? For instance, if you have any kind of breathing impairment, a polluted city is not ideal for you.
- Do the hotels comply with ADA when it comes to rooms and bathrooms (if we talk about cities in America) or the analogous (if the city is located somewhere in another country of the world)?
This destination in Italy is known for its great efforts to adapt its environment to make it inclusive for everyone. It has improved its transportation system, has removed architectural barriers, and has improved its environment to fulfill the needs of people with sensory impairments. It’s not surprising that Milan made it to the 2016 EU Access City Awards.
When visiting Milan, you will have the chance to visit some of the city highlights, including the impressive Milan Cathedral and its Gothic style, Sforza Castle, Brera and its botanical garden, and the grand opera Teatro alla Scala. Don't miss a thing!
In recent years, Israel has achieved a huge success when it comes to meeting the accessibility needs of people with disabilities. In Tel Aviv, the intercity bus service is very accessible for wheelchair users. It is even equipped with technology to help people with visual disabilities to enjoy the city. For instance, they use loudspeakers to in order to announce bus stops.
Tel Aviv's new buildings are constructed following solid building codes to make possible wheelchair accessibility to any structure (e.g. having ramps where necessary). Several hotels in Tel Aviv are fitter with accessible facilities like panic buttons, adapted rooms and bathrooms, wide and sliding doors, grab rails, etc.
Some great attractions in Tel Aviv include the Jewish history and cultural museum Beit Hatfutsot and Yarkon Park and its botanical garden and pond.
This U.S. city located in Washington has an accessible transportation system for nearly four decades now. Seattle is really involved in what accessibility is concerned. That may be the reason why wheelchair users can even get discounts on transportation. Furthermore, the city’s para-transit minibus service, ride-share program, and special maps in which the most easily accessible routes are specified, provide a comfortable stay for people with disabilities.
Some of the attractions worth visiting in Tel Aviv include the Woodland Park Zoo, which sits on 92 acres, Pike Place Market and its diversity of appetizing seafood, Experience Music Project Museum, and the awe-inspiring Space Needle, an emblematic location of the city.
The port city of Gdynia, located on the Baltic coast of Poland ranks among the top in the world when it comes to inclusive public transport accesibility. Providing people that are visually-impaired with Braille signage, many parking spaced for people with disabilities in emblematic locations, as well as in restaurants, and information boards situated at an accessible level to wheelchair users, a list of accessible cities wouldn't be complete without this Polish city.
Gdynia also packages many tourist attractions. They include the 59-year-old maritime museum Dar Pomorza, Gdynia Aquarium and its sharks and piranhas, and the naval museum ORP Blyskawica located within a WWII destroyer.
You may have thought that a city situated in the Rocky Mountains would not be suitable for travellers with disabilities. In Denver, the capital of the State of Colorado established in the Old West era, on the contrary, enjoys quite a flat topography.
Denver is not only one of the most accessible cities in the United States, it offers a great combination of both cultural and entertainment activities for people with any kind of disability. Its metro transportation system is completely accessible, and you will be able to move around with the door-to-door service offered by the para-transit system. You will be a hundred per cent convinced that Denver is a perfect option if you consider that many of its museums provide with a lot of accessibility options and that guide tours are adapted for people with hearing impairments.
Denver is not only an option to take into account because of its accessibility, but also has many attractions worth checking out. Downtown Aquarium, for instance, will surprise you with its underwater shows. You may also be interested on the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and its cinema chain specialised in 3D films. Elitch Gardens Theme Park is also a wonderful choice to visit during your stay in Denver.
Berlin, the capital of Germany is also striving significantly to become a totally accessible and barrier-free city. The fact of centering its attention on inclusive accessibility has resulted in a recognition of the EU City Access Award. They have taken many actions in creating an accessible transport system and a barrier-free environment in 2013. Apart from that, many restaurants, bars, museums, and theatres in Berlin are also accessible, making the city to be a great choice to travel to for people with disabilities.
Berlin offers a great variety of locations to visit, also due to the amount of historical events that took place there. The Berlin Wall and its graffiti., the historic Reichstag building. Brandenburg Gate (the monumental classical arched roof), the sensational Museum Island in the Spree river. These are all wonderful highlights you can’t miss if you visit Berlin someday.
These are not the only options you have. The list of accessible cities for people with disabilities around the globe is way larger. We can mention some examples as Chicago and Washington DC in the United States; Barcelona in Spain; or London in the United Kingdom and its accessible sidewalks. On the Internet you can also find more accessible destinations in the world worth checking.