Over twenty-five percent of Americans have some form of disability. Many of those people require a wheelchair.
If you use a wheelchair, you may be wondering how to plan your next vacation or where the best place to live is taking into account your accessibility needs.
What cities should you be looking at? Let’s go through the best cities in the world for wheelchair accessibility.
1. Ljubljana, Slovenia
You may not think of Slovenia when you think of accessibility, but it would surprise you. This country’s capital is one of the world’s most wheelchair-friendly cities.
The sidewalks were built with plenty of ramps along with dropped curbs, making it a lot easier for wheelchair users to navigate. That’s especially helpful for people getting around in manual wheelchairs. The public buses are nearly all wheelchair friendly.
Almost every major attraction in the city is completely wheelchair accessible. That includes natural wonders like Lake Bled, and you can even check out the Julian Alps using the gondola. Other awesome attractions you can check out in a wheelchair include the Ljubljana Zoo, Postojna Cave, Arboretum Volčji Potok, Ormož Castle, and the City Museum of Ljubljana.
2. Berlin, Germany
If you like good, accessible public transit, Berlin is the city for you. Almost its entire transit system is wheelchair accessible.
Berlin and Germany’s Federal Economic Agency are engaged with Tourism For All, a plan to make all tourism accessible. Sidewalks are easy to navigate for wheelchair users.
Both of Berlin’s airports, Berlin Schönefeld International Airport and Berlin Tegel International Airport, are wheelchair accessible and have links to wheelchair-accessible public transportation.
However, if you’re looking for taxis, you may face some barriers in Berlin. It’s difficult to find taxis that have the ability to transport power wheelchairs, though people using manual wheelchairs may have more luck.
Many of Berlin’s major attractions are accessible for people with disabilities, including the Reichstag building, Alte National galerie (the National Gallery), the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, and Museum Island.
Singapore’s technologically-advanced reputation extends to its accessibility. Part of the reason Singapore is so accessible is because of how old its average population is – the people who live in Singapore have to be able to get around!
Singapore has cutting-edge accessibility measures unseen previously around the world. Some crossings allow pedestrians the ability to request extra time, a potential lifesaver for people with mobility issues (including senior citizens).
As of 2020, all public buses in Singapore are accessible for people with disabilities, as is the subway system. While people using motorized wheelchairs may have more difficulty when looking for a taxi, Singapore does still offer options for them.
Plus, there are plenty of resources that help educate potential visitors to Singapore about the accessibility options available to them, and what attractions will be easiest for them to navigate.
4. Las Vegas, United States
If you’d prefer to stay in the country, Las Vegas isn’t just a top vacation destination – it’s also very wheelchair friendly. Las Vegas hosts tons of accessible hotel rooms, including ones with wheelchair-accessible showers. These are offered in hotels across price ranges. That means that no matter your budget there will be options for you.
5. Oslo, Norway
Oslo is one of those cities that take accessibility to the next level. You won’t want to miss great attractions like the Royal Palace, the National Theater, the Oslo City Museum, Akershus Fortress, and the Viking Ship Museum.
And, Oslo is constantly working on expanding its accessibility measures. By 2025, all government agencies are meant to have implemented all universal design requirements.
Another American destination that scores high for wheelchair accessibility is Orlando, home of Disney World.
The Disney theme parks even allow line-skipping options for people with disabilities, for those who might not be able to wait in long lines in the hot sun.
Disney offers guides to guests who use different mobility guides so that they know what rides and attractions they’ll be able to enjoy. Most rides at Disney World do offer wheelchair-accessible entrances. That’s a huge relief for those who want to make sure they’re getting the most out of their experience.
Other theme parks in the Orlando area are also accessible for people with disabilities, including Seaworld and Legoland.
Orlando also offers accessible hotel rooms. So you won’t be scrambling around for an appropriate place to stay.
Orlando International Airport has a program in place to allow travelers to identify as a person with a disability, to make it easier for them to access the services they need.
7. Sydney, Australia
If you’re planning a trip down under, know that Sydney is a top option for accessibility. Recent laws require that any new buildings (or renovated ones) are wheelchair accessible. That means that Sydney will become even more accessible for people with disabilities as time goes on.
Some of the many accessible attractions found in Sydney include the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Australian National Maritime Museum, Taronga Zoo Sydney, the Sydney Opera House, and Darling Harbor.
You can even check out the beaches when you’re in Sydney. The city’s ferries are wheelchair accessible. Places like Manly Beach have boardwalks. So you’ll still be able to navigate in your chair.
Wheelchair Accessibility in Cities: Now You Know
Hopefully, this guide to wheelchair accessibility in cities has given you some ideas for top cities to live in or visit.
Are you trying to buy a new power wheelchair? Contact Freedom Mobility Center today to get started.