The 10 Most Accessible Cities for People with Disabilities

Valuable 500, a global business collective of 500 CEOs and their companies, listed the 10 most accessible cities in the world based on a survey of 3,500 tourists with disabilities in five areas: the UK, Japan, China, the US and Australia.

Survey respondents rated the accessibility of each city as follows:

  • transport connections
  • the proximity of accommodation to cultural sites, shops and restaurants
  • the availability of accessibility information

Caroline Casey, the founder of the Valuable 500, said in a press release shared with CNBC Make It that while the research shows that these cities consistently rank well in terms of accessibility, there is still a lot of work to be done globally.

“Tourist agencies are still not making the necessary progress to remove the physical and ethical barriers to ensure that cities are truly accessible to all. Accessibility schemes for people with disabilities remain an afterthought for the travel and tourism industry,” said Casey.

The included cities were not arranged in any particular order.

The 10 most accessible cities for people with disabilities

  1. Singapore, Singapore
  2. Las Vegas, Nevada
  3. Amsterdam, The Netherlands
  4. New York, USA
  5. Orlando, USA
  6. Paris, France
  7. Shanghai, China
  8. London, United Kingdom
  9. Sydney, Australia
  10. Tokyo, Japan

3 of the 10 most accessible cities are in the US

Three cities in the US made the list: Las Vegas, New York and Orlando.

According to the study, since the Las Vegas strip was built and largely renovated after the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, most of the city’s hotels and locations are almost fully ADA compliant.

New York City was also highlighted for the amount of information available to people with disabilities planning to travel to The Big Apple.

The Official Guide to New York City has an accessibility page with a searchable database with the ability to filter by various categories. It includes tourist attractions, museums, galleries, hotels and more.

Where New York City doesn’t fare well is how accessible or not the city’s subway system is. Currently, only about 29% of the city’s 472 metro stations are accessible to some degree, according to Valuable 500.

Orlando, Florida was the last American city on the list. It’s often ranked as one of the most accessible cities in the US, thanks in part to the 12 theme parks that call Orlando home.

Six are operated by Walt Disney World, three by Universal Orlando Resort, and three by SeaWorld, and all provide accommodations for not only people with mobility disabilities, but also visitors with visual, auditory, cognitive, and sensory disabilities.

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