Accessible Travel

The Southwest is becoming more accessible for mobility-restricted travelers, but it still presents challenges. Public buildings are required to be wheelchair accessible and to have appropriate restroom facilities. Public transportation services must be made accessible to all and telephone companies have to provide relay operators for the hearing impaired. Many banks provide ATM instructions in braille, curb ramps are common, many busy intersections have audible crossing signals, and most chain hotels have suites for mobility-restricted guests. Still, it's best to call ahead to check.

  • Disabled US residents and permanent residents may be eligible for the lifetime Access Pass, a free pass to national parks and more than 2000 recreation areas managed by the federal government. Visit http://store.usgs.gov/access-pass
  • Accessing Arizona (www.accessingarizona.com) has information about wheelchair-accessible activities in Arizona. It's slightly out-of-date but still useful.
  • For reviews about the accessibility of hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues in metropolitan Phoenix, check out www.brettapproved.com.
  • National Ability Center in Utah offers adapted sports programs for people with disabilities; activities include mountain biking, rafting and horseback riding.
  • Accessible Utah provides good resources for adaptive recreation in Utah.
  • Accessible Vans of America lists dealers renting wheelchair-accessible vehicles in hubs such as Salt Lake City, Phoenix, Albuquerque and Las Vegas.
  • Download Lonely Planet's free Accessible Travel guides from http://lptravel.to/AccessibleTravel.
  • Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality is a useful global resource for information on traveling with a disability.