• Bigger, newer hotels and resorts in Hawaii have elevators, TDD-capable phones and wheelchair-accessible rooms (reserve these well in advance).
  • Telephone companies provide relay operators (dial 711) for hearing impaired.
  • Many banks provide ATM instructions in braille.
  • Traffic intersections have dropped curbs and audible crossing signals in cities and some towns, as well as all along Waikiki’s beachfront.
  • Honolulu’s Department of Parks and Recreation provides all-terrain beach mats and wheelchairs for free (call ahead to make arrangements) at several beaches, including Ala Moana, Hanauma Bay, Sans Souci, Kailua, Kualoa and Pokaʻi Bay.
  • Guide dogs and service animals are not subject to the same quarantine requirements as pets; contact the Department of Agriculture’s Animal Quarantine Station before arrival.


  • All public buses on Oʻahu are wheelchair accessible and will ‘kneel’ if you’re unable to use the steps – just let the driver know that you need the lift or ramp.
  • If you have a disability parking placard from home, bring it with you and hang it from your rental car’s rearview mirror when using designated disabled-parking spaces.
  • Some major car-rental agencies offer hand-controlled vehicles and vans with wheelchair lifts. You’ll need to reserve these well in advance.

Useful Resources

  • Travelsmart Hawaii (www.travelsmarthawaii.com) has a good website for special-needs travelers to Hawaii.
  • Download Lonely Planet's free Accessible Travel guide from http://lptravel.to/AccessibleTravel.