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New York, New York

New York is a one-of-a-kind destination. Whether you lived there your whole life or visited many times, there is always something new to see and do. Some people with special needs may think they shouldn’t visit New York because it’s large, congested and inaccessible, but the fact is that most of the tourist destinations are accessible. Transportation around the city can be a little challenging as not all the subway stops are accessible and only a small percentage of taxis are wheelchair accessible. However, New York is a very walk-able (or wheel-able) city and definitely not to be missed.

Museums
New York is home to many of the world’s best museums. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is New York’s most popular single-site tourist attraction. The museum has more than 1.5 million square feet of exhibit space and includes paintings from artists like Monet, Degas, Van Gough and many others; Greek, Roman and Egyptian galleries; Medieval collections; photography and more. The museum is wheelchair accessible through an alternate entrance and all of the museum’s public galleries are accessible to wheelchair users. For individuals with hearing impairments and visual impairments, assistive listening devices and audio guides are available. Special programs are also available upon request for individuals with visual and hearing impairments.

The American Museum of Natural History is renowned for its expansive collections of more than 30 million specimens and artifacts. The museum includes three large dinosaur halls, Hall of Ocean Life, the Star of India sapphire in the Hall of Minerals & Gems and the newest section, the Rose Center for Earth & Space, which has quickly become the museum’s star attraction. The Museum is accessible through an alternate entrance and all of the exhibitions are accessible by wheelchair. For individuals with hearing impairments assistive listening devices are available upon request. For visitors with sight impairments, the museum has touchable exhibits as well as a monthly Science Sense Tour (more information is available on the museum’s website).

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has the largest collection of artwork from 1880 to present. It has more than 100,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints and more from modern artists. The MoMA is fully wheelchair accessible. For guests with hearing impairments, the MoMA has transcripts of its audio programs and a bi-monthly program for deaf adults. For guests with hearing impairments, the museum offers maps in Braille and audio tours, tactile models and Touch Tours with trained guides.

National Historic Landmarks
There are over 100 National Historic Landmarks in New York City ranging from department stores, religious buildings, homes and even a couple of ships. Virtually all of the historic landmarks are wheelchair-accessible although one may not be able to visit all parts of the attraction.

The Empire State Building is one of the tallest and most recognizable buildings in the world. The building’s outdoor observatory is one of the most popular ones in the world, offering impressive 360 degree views of the city. The 86th floor Observatory deck is fully ADA compliant and has handicapped restrooms, lowered viewing walls and coin-operated binoculars available for use. The 102nd floor Observatory is not accessible.

The Statue of Liberty is more than a monument; it has become an American symbol of freedom and welcome. It is the most visited tourist attraction in the world and wheelchair-accessible to a degree. Those requiring the use of a wheelchair can enter the monument and experience the lobby, museum and lower promenade including Ft. Wood (what the Statue stands in). The crown is not accessible as there are 354 steps to climb up to the top. For individuals who are sight impaired, tactile models of the island, information in Braille and large print brochures are available. Caption in theater & audio transcripts are available for hearing impaired as well as an assisted-listening induction loop device available at the Information Desk. The island is accessible by Ferry Service from Manhattan.

Theatre
When you travel to New York, you’ll certainly want to catch a Broadway show. Whether you’re in the mood for a musical, comedy or drama, New York has something for everyone. Many theatres have reserved wheelchair locations at extreme sides of orchestra and some offer infrared assistive listening devices. Patrons should check the individual theatres though as some theatres do not have accessible restrooms. Additionally, if you need to make special arrangements for a person with a special need, it is best to do so at the theatre's box office.

Interesting Fact:  Dutch explorer Peter Minuit purchased the island of Manhattan from the Native Americans for goods worth about $24. Some 370 years later, the average sale price of an apartment in Manhattan during the first quarter of 2011 was a whopping $1.4 million.  

Special Needs Group has wheelchair rentals, scooter rentals, and other special needs equipment rentals in New York, New York. To place your order, contact 954 585-0575.