If someone in your family has a disability, planning a vacation can be an extremely stressful experience. You may think your destinations are limited. However, there are many travel destinations that may surprise you with their level of accommodation.
National parks across America are highly visited locations. Although the first image that comes to mind may be paths through the woods to magnificent sights, accessibility guides are available for each park. These guides describe any available transportation, wheelchair accessible paths, and other accessibility details. While many parks retain their inaccessible paths, some parks have replaced these with paved, accessible paths. Several parks have also installed accessible boardwalks in order for more individuals to enjoy the natural sights.
One specific national park that provides accessibility is Grand Canyon National Park, which has an accessible bus system allowing those with disability to enjoy many sights without hiking. This park also has a scenic drive accessibility permit available to those with mobility issues. This allows access to driving areas otherwise closed to the public.
While beaches may seem like the last place you’d want to try to take a wheelchair, many beaches across America are accessible. A number of beaches, including the following, have beach wheelchairs available for visitors. Some beaches also have accessible boardwalks that come close to the water, which allows for the beach views without taking a wheelchair in the sand.
Some of the beaches which have this accessibility available are Hanauma Bay and Kailua Beach Park in Hawaii; Ludington State Park in Michigan; Rehoboth Beach in Delaware; Avalon Beach and Stone Harbor Beach in New Jersey; Silver Strand State Beach, Ocean Beach, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach, and La Jolla Shores in California.
Many amusement parks offer special passes or other accommodations to those with disabilities. These accommodations may include tickets with specific ride times or shortened line options. Amusement parks such as Disneyland and Disneyworld are willing to make guest specific accommodations upon arrival depending on the needs of the individual. A majority of rides and attractions in amusement parks across the country are accessible to all individuals.
One amusement park in particular, Morgan’s Wonderland, located in San Antonio, Texas, provides a fully accessible park for individuals facing any type of disability. All rides are fully accessible and sensory friendly, along with an entirely barrier-free environment.
Most museums across the nation are accessible to those with disability. Many have audio and braille descriptions available, along with wheelchair accessible exhibitions. Large print descriptions are also available at some museums.
The Smithsonian Museums in Washington D.C. are widely accessible to those facing disabilities. Each facility has a wheelchair accessible entrance along with free wheelchair loans to visitors. They also offer audio descriptions of many exhibitions and can provide sign language interpretation in each museum.
Before taking your next family trip, do research on the destination. To ensure the best experience possible for everyone in your family, visit websites and contact attractions in the area about their accessibility options. You may be surprised about some of the destination options your disabled family member has.