Tourism Abroad - Disabled Accessibility

Orlando, Florida November 2008

America has its own version of the Disability Discrimination Act, which is the 'Americans with Disabilities Act (1990)'.

Orlando, Florida - palm trees and modern buildings

Getting Around

According to Eyewitness Travel, Orlando is one of the most dangerous cities in the US for pedestrians. There are numerous occasions when there is lack of pavement and fast moving traffic. Everything in Orlando is spread out, this makes hiring a car the most ideal option.

Attractions

At all theme parks, there is a disabled pass which can be obtained at the guest services desk. It is essential to provide evidence of the person's disability. This will enable the disabled person and group to skip the queue at all theme parks. All theme parks consist of a flat terrain, with all rides and shows accessible for all.

Kennedy Space Center

At the Kennedy Space Center Astronauts Hall of Fame most artefacts with text description were behind glass windows, making it difficult to read. Colours on the text were not easily accessible; the text wasn't large enough with contrasting colours. At the main visitor complex, a disabled pass is required for the coach tour. This can be obtained from the customer service desk, if you want to fully access everything. However, the tour was very long and tiring, approx three hours, with four stops. The coach tours provide good access for the disabled; some buses have a special lift to lower wheelchairs.

At Boggy Creek Airboat Rides in Kissimmee, both locations have wheelchair access.  Unfortunately, they are unable to have the wheelchair on the airboat so the passenger would need to be transferred from the wheelchair to the seat in the boat.  All passengers are provided with hearing protection prior to riding on the airboats.

The Corona Cigar Company has the largest selection of cigars in the world. The store is very well lit with ramped access. However, some cigar brands may be too high to reach for those in wheelchairs, but the staff there are friendly and always willing to help. The names and prices of the cigars can be quite difficult to establish for visually impaired people.

Eating Out

Restaurants in Orlando are spacious, with good access; Orlando is very flat, and so there are hardly any barriers in place for disabled people. However, viewing the menu can be difficult for the visually impaired as large print menus are generally not available. Denny's, the famous American diner, is usually very well spaced out, with good accessibility all round. Though, the menu may prove challenging for the visually impaired. However, staff are more than happy to help to make your choice; the selection is pretty vast.

Cowboys Orlando - Country Music Nightclub

Bars and Nightlife

Cowboys Orlando is a country music nightclub, with very good access, although there is a small step up to get in and a step down onto the dance floor, other than that, the club is completely flat.

Shopping

Shopping in America is a more positive experience than in the UK. The huge shopping malls prove very good for mobility; everything is spread out over a vast area. The Mall at Milennia has 1.2 million square feet of shopping space, which is too big to explore fully, but it is great fun! There are also plenty of seating areas, where visitors can take a rest, and have some refreshments.

Disabled Toilets

Please note that America has disabled toilets in nearly every establishment. However, they are in the main toilet areas, unlike in the UK, where they are kept separate.