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Top 10 Accessible Cities for People with Disabilities


Lifestyle Improvement

Posted On: Oct 29, 2014

When the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990, its aim was to prevent discrimination to people based on their disability. The first part of the law provided employment discrimination protection for people with disabilities, but the parts of the law that most people are familiar with are the ones that deal with accessibility options for those with disabilities. The construction of wheelchair ramps, handicapped parking spaces, and accessibility options for disabled people on public transportation is due largely to the ADA.

While the ADA improved conditions greatly, some cities are better than others when it comes to accessibility. Here is a list of 10 cities that go above and beyond the ADA requirements to provide accessible options for their citizens.

wheelchair slope

  1. Seattle, Washington. This hilly city’s bus and light rail systems are wheelchair accessible and discounted for people with disabilities. The public transportation system is also supplemented with a paratransit van service.
  2.  Albuquerque, New Mexico. The ABQ Ride bus service in Albuquerque is 100% ADA compliant and offers discounted fares for disabled riders. The supplemental SunVan paratransit service also provides door-to-door transportation to any location in the city.
  3. Reno, Nevada.Besides having a dry climate that is helpful to those in wheelchairs, Reno also offers wheelchair-accessible bus and rapid transit lines. The city also provides paratransit service in the downtown area as well as some outlying areas.
  4. Denver, Colorado. Denver has wheelchair accessible and priority seating on its bus and rail lines as well as an Access-a-Ride program that transports wheelchair-using riders to any point within a three-quarter mile radius of the bus and rail lines.
  5. Portland, Oregon. Portland has a great public transportation system to begin with, but the fact that its light rail trains, buses, and streetcars are all wheelchair-accessible makes it great. There’s also a paratransit system with over 250 vans to help out, too.
  6. Chicago, Illinois.You might not think of the windy and snowy Chicago as the most accessible city, but the transit authority has made 90 of its 145 rail stations ADA compliant. Also, the University of Illinois has recently taken it upon themselves to create a mapping system that tracks the accessibility of the entire city.
  7. Birmingham, Alabama.Warm winter weather and the two dozen paratransit vans courtesy of the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authoritymakes the home of the University of Alabama very accessible.
  8. Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Due to the huge growth in this city since the ADA was passed in 1990, the city has a lot of new construction built to comply with the ADA, meaning that accessibility options were built from scratch, not retrofitted.
  9. Orlando, Florida. This city’s wheelchair-accessible Lynx bus system and plenty of modern construction combined with the mild climate helps make it friendly for those with disabilities.
  10. Lubbock, Texas. The new fleet of buses accessible to full-sized wheel chairs and warm winter weather make the home of Texas Tech disabilityfriendly.