Washington, DC is easily accessible to people with disabilities. After all it is home to the Americans with Disabilities Act and the ADA Lodgings Regulations. Plan your trip including transportation within the area and attractions that provide options for access.
Accessible Transportation within Washington, DC
Wheelchair accessible van rentals are available and handicap parking is plentiful. Metered parking is free for vehicles with a handicap placard or license tag. Wheelchair accessible taxis fit average size scooters and wheelchairs. It’s helpful to reserve one in advance. Public transportation is another option and since many of the monuments and other attractions in Washington, DC are centralized, this works well. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority is made up of both rail and bus and provides assistance for tourists and people with disabilities. There is also a Metro Disability weekly discount. Use their Travel Planner, which is available for mobile devices as well and learn about their Accessibility Features.
Accessible Monuments and Memorials in Washington, DC
Arlington National Cemetery – Visit the Visitors Information Desk with your handicap parking pass to obtain a special vehicle pass to access the cemetery. Access is also provided to President John F. Kennedy’s grave site by a concealed greenstone walkway.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial – The memorial covers approximately 7.5 acres so bring your mobility device to make the most of your visit.
Lincoln Memorial – Wheelchairs are available on a first come, first serve basis. The interior of the memorial contains an elevator to make it accessible.
Vietnam Veterans Memorial – Paths are available for those needing wheelchairs and other mobility devices.
Washington Memorial – Wheelchairs are available and the 30 minute tours are accessible. Tickets are needed for tours and long lines can be expected. You can reserve tickets in advance for a $1.50 fee. Searches are required before entering. Please notify park rangers about medical conditions that require special attention, for example insulin pumps, pacemakers. Please note that the memorial is temporarily closed due to damage from the August 23, 2011 earthquake damage.
World War II Memorial – Wheelchairs are available on a first come, first serve basis with a valid driver’s license.
Other Accessible Attractions in Washington, DC
Smithsonian Institution– Made up of various museums and the National Zoo, the Smithsonian provides free wheelchairs and at least one accessible entrance at each museum. Because some of the buildings are old, they continue to work to make accessibility more available. Learn about your visit before you go and the accommodations that are in place now.
US Capitol – Visitors with disabilities have many forms of accommodations available including, listening devices, wheelchairs, TTYs and shuttles for persons with mobility disabilities.
Have you visited Washington, DC and found it to be accessible? What other tips can you provide?
Image source: Lisa Frame c 2009 adailypinch.com
Connie Roberts is a professional blogger who makes it her mission to advocate for people with medical issues. Travel with a disability is not a struggle, but an opportunity to see the world and let others see that it’s possible and a lot of fun. Tweet with her @ConnieFoggles.