People with disabilities have unique accessibility needs. Some cities are better than others when it comes to getting around in wheelchairs or with other assistive devices. Other considerations that make some places better than others include mass transit systems with ADA compliant designs, access to medical providers, and employment opportunities. We've compiled a listing of the 20 best places to live for people with disabilities, that offer the best accommodations for people with mobility and other challenges.
20. Virginia Beach, Virginia
According to Wallet Hub, Virginia Beach is the twentieth best place to live for people with disabilities. The city received a high overall score for quality of life and access to top-notch medical providers. This city has one of the lowest costs for visits to medical providers making it affordable for people with medical conditions that require ongoing visits to the doctor, physical therapists, or who depend on pharmaceuticals. The rankings are high for the affordability and quality of care.
19. Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City does a good job when it comes to ensuring that the quality of life for persons with disabling conditions is good. Most businesses and municipally-owned properties are handicap accessible which makes life a lot easier for anyone with challenges in mobility. Business owners also strive to ensure that their buildings and surrounding areas are constructed with ease of access. The economy is also friendly to people with disabling conditions who seek employment opportunities.
18. Tempe, Arizona
Tempe is another good place to live for people who face everyday physical challenges. There are a lot of retirees in his city. The businesses and public access areas are designed to accommodate people who experience difficulty walking by ensuring that there are adequate ramps for access vs stairs, with bathroom stalls and doorways that conform to ADA specifications for wheelchair access. The economy is also geared to accommodate people with adaptive needs in the workplace. Tempe is a city that goes over and above the requirements to ensure a good quality of life for persons with physical challenges.
17. Rancho Cucamonga, California
Rancho Cucamonga is a city that excels when it comes to providing top-notch medical providers. This is a fairly affluent area that offers some of the best doctors and other healthcare providers. The city is ranked as having one of the lowest numbers of people with disabilities living in poverty. There are ample job opportunities in the area and the quality of life for people with physical challenges is rated highly because of businesses and public access areas that are designed to accommodate people who suffer from mobility issues. This is another city that has a high number of retirees and they do an exceptional job of ensuring good access to public and private businesses.
16. Omaha, Nebraska
Omaha gets high marks for an economy that is geared towards providing equal opportunity employment for all of its citizens. This city has the most family physicians per capita, which makes it easier to get an appointment with a healthcare provider when needed. The overall quality of life in Omaha is high with sidewalks, businesses, and public access areas that are designed within the recommended specifications to provide safe and easy access for people who have mobility issues or who are wheelchair-bound. Doors are wide enough to allow wheelchairs to easily enter, restrooms are designed to accommodate people with adaptive equipment as well.
15. St. Petersburg, Florida
St. Petersburg has a high rating for its healthcare system. This is a city that is home to a high population of retirees, many of whom experience healthcare and mobility issues. There are plenty of physicians per capita in the area, which makes it easier to get an appointment with a healthcare provider as needed. The city is designed to accommodate people with a variety of challenges and mobility issues with public areas that are laid out with wider entryways, ramps vs stairs, and other amenities that make it possible for those who suffer from mobility issues to get around. Public transportation is also accessible and there are plenty of different types of transportation available for mobility challenged people.
14. Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky
Lexington-Fayette is one of the best southern cities for people who struggle with mobility. The city does a good job of providing public access areas that are built to accommodate people who have special needs. The public buildings and areas owned by the city are designed to make it easier for people in wheelchairs or who rely on the aid of rails or stability bars to hold onto. The city is sensitive when it comes to providing access to businesses such as restaurants, entertainment, and shopping venues. The overall quality of life is high for people with disabilities in Lexington-Fayette.
13. Chandler, Arizona
According to Abilities.com, Chandler is a city that also excels when it comes to providing public areas that are accessible to all. The area also provides affordable housing and good weather for people who experience respiratory issues. There are also job opportunities for people who may need accommodations to work. Chandler is a city that offers good access to affordable medical care with a high ratio of physicians per capita to accommodate an aging population of retirees.
12. San Jose, California
San Jose is a larger metropolitan area that does well when it comes to providing ADA-compliant public access areas. The job market in this area is open to people who have special accommodation needs, and the median income for the community is such that one can make a good living with the economic conditions. Public transportation is available to accommodate those with mobility issues or who require the use of a wheelchair. This is a city that has a high quality of life for people who have mobility issues because most public buildings are designed for ease of access.
11. Amarillo, Texas
Amarillo does a good job when it comes to ADA compliance in the design of its public access areas. It's a larger city that offers public transportation choices that are designed to accommodate people with mobility issues. The healthcare system is also top-notch with a high number of healthcare providers per capita, and access to affordable healthcare visits. The job market is open to those with challenging conditions. Housing is affordable, the cost of living is reasonable and the weather is good for people with respiratory challenges.
10. Modesto, California
Modesto provides good opportunities for people with physically challenging conditions. The job market is open to provide employment opportunities for everyone with a culture that is accepting of all, and anti-discriminatory. There are plenty of healthcare providers per capita with affordable medical care available. They do a good job with public transportation that is ADA compliant. The public access areas fall into compliance to ensure that everyone has access to government buildings as well as entertainment, shopping, and dining venues. Modesto is a city that excels in ensuring that everyone who lives there has equal access to its amenities and it offers a good quality of life.
9. Santa Clarita, California
Santa Clarita is a city that does a good job of ensuring that everyone is treated equally. The job market is open to people with physical challenges, and the median income is commensurate with the cost of living in the local economy. There are plenty of physicians per capita with affordable healthcare available. There are also plenty of special education programs available in the public school system to accommodate students facing physical challenges.
8. Honolulu, Hawaii
Honolulu is a large metropolitan area that welcomes millions of tourists annually. This city values every visitor and it follows ADA guidelines closely to ensure that the public access areas are open and welcoming for everyone. The hotels, restaurants, and shopping venues are designed to accommodate those who have mobility issues. The public transportation systems also do a good job of ensuring ADA compliance with easy-to-access vans and vehicles available for those who have special access needs.
7. Rochester, Minnesota
New Mobility cites Rochester as a good place to live for people with physical challenges. This is a city with a population of 71,000 residents. It has a mass transit system and a Skyway that is 100 percent accessible for people with mobility issues. The ZIPS paratransit service runs six days per week. This is also the home of the famed Mayo clinic that offers high-quality healthcare options for people with disabilities. The city takes pride in the fact that it is the home of the Southeastern Minnesota Center for Independent Living to raise the quality of life for people with physical challenges.
6. Salt Lake City, Utah
Salt Lake City has a population of 160,000 residents. It' is a diverse city that fosters a sense of independence and individuality. The mainline transit system is 70 percent accessible and the Flex Trans is a paratransit system that operates six days a week. It's not difficult to navigate through the city using the public transit system. One of the outstanding features of Salt Lake City is the Utah Independent Living Center which is at home in the city and it offers an advocacy program that he's people with disabilities to live in their own homes. It sponsors a community action program and operates the Disabled Rights Action Committee that ensures conformance to ADA specifications for people with disabilities.
5. Raleigh, North Carolina
Raleigh is a city of 212,000 residents. The Raleigh Transportation System provides the residence with a two-tiered paratransit service that is fully accessible. It offers ADA-compliant services with pickup and drop-off locations along with the CAT Connector shuttle. The city is the home of the State Vocational Rehabilitation Department ensuring that people with physical disabilities have options for independent living services through a variety of programs to assist with transportation and home modifications, skills, and training programs. There are plenty of accessible housing options here, along with ample employment opportunities.
4. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Sioux Falls is a city with a population of 110,000 residents. It does have older parts of town that are not great when it comes to accessibility, but the newer parts are exceptional. Getting around Sioux Falls is not a problem with the mainline transit system that is 100 percent accessible, along with a paratransit system that meets the needs of its population. There is also a statewide Medicaid waiver program available along with two major hospitals and a full array of medical support services. It is the home of the Prairie Freedom Center for Independent Living. It's a clean place to live with low crime rates, high employment opportunities, and strong advocacy services for people with physical disabilities.
3. Seattle, Washington
Seattle is a larger metropolitan area with over half a million residents within its borders. The weather is generally mild and Settle is home to some of the best healthcare centers in the nation. Healthcare services are readily available and affordable in the city. The public transportation services are ADA compliant ensuring great access for navigating through the city through the King County Metro bus system. This is the home of the Washington Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities. There are ample employment opportunities and the city of Seattle offers a high quality of life for people with physical disabilities.
2. Berkeley, California
Berkeley is a city with a population of 102,000. It is the home of the Independence Hall of the Independent Living movement. It's a welcoming city with a culture that encourages everyone to be themselves. The California IHSS program provides people with disabling conditions with personal assistance services for everyday life functions, besides, help with education and employment. The city even has a program to assist residents with wheelchair breakdowns. Buses and paratransit services are offered seven days a week and they are completely accessible.
1. Denver, Colorado
Denver is a large metro area with a population of 468,000 residents. It's one of the most wheelchair-friendly cities in America. Denver takes accessibility seriously and it caters to all of its residents and visitors with strict adherence to ADA specifications and modifications for public access areas. The mainline metro transportation system is fully accessible and it has a strong network of advocacy programs for people with disabling conditions. It's the home of the ADAPT organization which ensures that entertainment, sports, shopping, and public service areas are all completely accessible for persons with mobility issues. There are plenty of healthcare providers offering affordable medical services in the area. The quality of life in Denver is high for people with physical disabilities.
Written by Liz Flynn
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