Information and Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities
Sharon K. Tune, October 2013
Washington is one of the most accessible cities in the world for visitors with disabilities. Here are a few resources:
MetroAccess is the Washington, DC, public transit's curbtocurb paratransit service for riders who cannot use public transportation due to a disability. Consult Metro's website for a MetroAccess Customer Guide, or call 301-562-5360. In addition, a brochure on Accessible Transportation Options for Customers with Disabilities in the Washington, DC, Metropolitan Area covers public transit, Amtrak, and surrounding jurisdictions.
ScooterPlus Rentals, a local company, rents wheelchairs and scooters to meeting attendees in hotels. Scooter and wheelchair rentals are also available through a national company operating in many U.S. cities, ScootAround, Inc., toll-free at 888-441-7575, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or online.
The US Department of Transportation's Aviation Consumer Protection and Enforcement has an online guide, "New Horizons: Information for the Air Traveler with a Disability." This site also explains how to file a complaint with the department.
A general resource is BarrierFree Travels: A Nuts and Bolts Guide for Wheelers and Slow Walkers ($19.95; 2009, 3rd ed.). It contains detailed information about the logistics of planning accessible travel—whether by plane, train, or bus. The book includes important details about accessible air travel, traveling with oxygen, accessible ground transportation, choosing a travel agent, online booking, accessible recreation, and budget travel. It is available online.
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) are operated by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA). Visit the joint website for visitors' guides for patrons with disabilities, including information security screening, animal relief areas, taxicab services, and public transit access.
On the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshal Airport (BWI) website, visitors can download a "Travelers with Disabilities" brochure that has informtation on baggage claim areas, ground transit options, airline TTY contact information, and animal relief areas.
Information about Hotels
The information that follows is provided to assist AHA annual meeting attendees with disabilities in obtaining the reasonable accommodations they require. Please refer to this information when making hotel reservations or arrangements to participate in program sessions and other events. In particular, guests should advise the selected hotel about specific needs when making room reservations.
All hotels have accessible lobbies; several have autoslide doors. Thresholds and doormats are in compliance with American with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations and doorservice personnel are available at most properties. Lobbies have marble floors and/or low-pile area carpeting. All hotels have accessible registration desks or provide clipboards to guests to complete registration documentation. Elevators connect all levels of each hotel. Each elevator has a wheelchair-accessible keypad, Braille numerals beside each control button, and audible direction. Restrooms in lobbies and on meeting room floors are wheelchair accessible and have tactile signage.
All hotels have accessible guest rooms. The number of such rooms at each property is noted in the listing below. Among other amenities, these rooms feature wheelchairaccessible doors, lever/lever door handles, security peepholes, ample room space, grab bars in restrooms, low sinks with insulated pipes, accessible towel racks, and accessible mirrors. The following auxiliary aids are available at most properties: flashing fire alarm, doorbell, and telephone; vibrating alarm clock; closed-caption decoders; Braille signage; and TDD telephones. All hotels have a smoke-free policy.
Marriott Wardman Park Hotel
Entrances: The hotel has two main entrances that are accessible, Woodley Road and 24th Street.
Parking: The hotel offers both self and valet parking. The lot has designated spaces including van-accessible spots. Parking spaces have five-foot aisle access and van spaces have eightfoot aisle access. Parking garages are accessible with ramps and elevators.
Guestrooms: Thirty-nine of the hotel's guestrooms are equipped for persons with hearing impairments—14 rooms for the hearing impaired only and 25 rooms for both hearing impaired and wheelchair accessible.
Omni Shoreham Hotel
Entrances: The main lobby entrance on Calvert Street and the parkview entrance on the southeast side of the building are both accessible; the two side entrances, located east and west of the main entrance that also faces Calvert Street, are not.
Parking: Accessible parking spaces are available, and the hotel has three accessible entrances from self-parking facilities.
Guest rooms: The hotel has 42 guest rooms that meet standard ADA requirements.
Entrances: The hotel's entrances on Connecticut Avenue and on T Street are both accessible.
Parking: The hotel has eight accessible parking spaces, each located near the garage elevators.
Guestrooms: The hotel has 31 accessible rooms, nine have a roll-in shower and 21 have a tub only.
—Sharon K. Tune is director, meetings and administrative operations for the AHA.