Tips for People with Special nNeds
Anyone using a wheelchair or who have difficulty walking should exercise caution on Philadelphia's older, cracked, or bumpy sidewalks and walkways. Most of the major streets in Center City have curb cuts and handicapped parking, although parking spaces can be limited near major attractions, so allow extra time to find one. Most attractions, theaters, and all the stadiums and newer, larger hotels in Philadelphia have elevators or ramps, but due to their old age in some cases, some of the historic buildings are ill-equipped. When in doubt, call ahead before arriving to be sure a location is accessible.
The Mayor's Commission on People with Disabilities offers resources and a wealth of information including help finding accessible parking, ATMs, health centers, and cultural events. It aims to connect all types of resources to one another and to the people who can benefit from them. The website contains tons of practical information from getting a ramp installed inside a a business to obtained handicapped parking and much, much more. It is a must-visit site for anyone living with or caring for a person with disabilities in the Philadelphia area.
ARTREACH, Inc. is an organization that also connects people with disabilities to services and arts in the area and offers an online and print access guide with information on more than 75 of the region's theaters, performing arts centers, and museums. Listings include wheelchair accessibility of entrances and restrooms, phone numbers, and information on large-print or Braille materials or assistive listening devices. The guide is also available on audiocassette for the blind.
SEPTA provides detailed information on their website. Since getting around can be a real challenge for anyone with disabilities, this site is a great place to visit in planning an outing. Subway and train stations are generally equipped with elevators and bus lines have wheelchair lifts on each route if not on every bus.
The Independence Visitor Center (6th and Market Sts.) is also very helpful in providing additional information and resources for seniors and people with disabilities.
Philadelphia is generally a hospitable destination for senior citizens, although some may choose to avoid the hottest summer months and the coldest winter months as they would in any Northeast destination with extreme temperatures. Senior citizens with proof of age (65 and older) can ride buses and subways for free all the time and regional rail for free during off-peak hours (before 6 a.m., from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., and after 6 p.m.). Discounts are available at many attractions and AARP discounts are available at many hotels. The Independence Visitor Center (6th and Market Sts.) offers additional resources and information for seniors.