Travellers with Disabilities

Travel within the Southwest is getting better for people with disabilities, but it's still not easy. Public buildings are required to be wheelchair accessible and to have appropriate rest-room 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 guests with disabilities. 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/pass/access.html.
  • 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 It's slightly out-of-date but still useful.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.
  • Arizona Raft Adventures can accommodate disabled travelers on rafting trips through the Grand Canyon.
  • The Utah tourism office has a list of programs and resources for disabled travelers in Utah at http://travel.utah.gov/publications/onesheets/Accessible_Utah_web.pdf.
  • Wheelchair Getaways rents accessible vans in cities across the Southwest including Phoenix, Tucson, Albuquerque, Las Vegas and Boulder City.
  • Download Lonely Planet's free Accessible Travel guide from http://lptravel.to/AccessibleTravel.
  • Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality is a useful global resource for information on traveling with a disability.