Thursday, August 2, 2012

20 Most Wheelchair Friendly US Cities

While doing a little research on a city we will visit on vacation this year, I ran across an article from the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation that listed the 20 most wheelchair friendly cities in the US. The city we plan to visit, and the city in which we live are not on the list, but I will certainly keep it in mind for future vacations.

The cities were judged on the following criteria:
First the judges looked at how hospitable a city's climate is for those using a wheelchair and tried to avoid cities with extremes in temperature or snowfall. Then cities were ranked based on their air quality, number of physicians, rehab specialists and rehab centers, accessible fitness and recreation facilities and paratransit systems.

The judges also looked to see if the city population contained large numbers of physically disabled people and whether those people have been able to get employment.

Lastly, judges examined the age of the city (old building are harder to make accessible) and checked out the spending and eligibility requirements for Medicaid.

So, what cities came out on top? The cities named are as follows, in ranked order:

1. Seattle, Wash.
2. Albuquerque, N.M.
3. Reno, Nev.
4. Denver, Colo.
5. Portland, Ore.
6. Chicago, Ill.
7. Birmingham, Ala.
8. Winston-Salem, N.C.
9. Orlando, Fla.
10. Lubbock, Texas
11. Miami, Fla.
12. Tampa, Fla.
13. Durham, N.C.
14. Fort Worth, Texas
15. Virginia Beach, Va.
16. Arlington, Texas
17. Baltimore, Md.
18. New Orleans, La.
19. Arlington, Va.
20. Atlanta, Ga.

I was pleased to see two cities in my home state - Virginia Beach and Arlington - as well as two of my favorite cities to visit - Baltimore and Atlanta.

So, do you see your home town? If not, what could your city do to make itself more wheelchair friendly?


Jan Goldfield said...

Those judges must have been really reaching when they picked New Orleans. Sure there's a curb cut here and there, but most buildings are not accessible, even with help. I have lived in NO for over 40 years. It is not kind to folks who have mobility problems and I suspect never will be.

Ashley's Mom said...

Jan, I was surprised to see New Orleans there also. I have visited several times, an wheelchair friendly is not a description I would use for the city.

Lucy Cash said...

Huzzah! Number 8!

I'm stinking proud of my city. SO proud.

Ashley's Mom said...

I've always liked your city, Lucy, but now even more so!

@talar13 said...

Seattle...great for power users or scooters. Tough for manual...ever tried to push up or down our hills. Trust me, not so easy. I love Seattle but navigating the hills is hard and is especially hard when the push rims get wet/damp with our constant drizzle. Definitely can see first for power users though.