129th Annual Meeting
Information and Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities
Sharon K. Tune, October 2014
General Information and Resources
New York City is one of the most accessible cities in the world for visitors with disabilities. NYC & Company, the city’s convention and tourism bureau, offers a free online disability resource guide, which includes detailed accessibility information for many attractions and restaurants. The site can be accessed by vision-impaired and screen-user readers. The Official Accessibility Guide is at www.nyc.gov/html/mopd/downloads/pdf/accessibility_guide.pdf.
New York City Transit’s Access-a-Ride provides transportation for people with disabilities who are unable to use public bus or subway service for some or all of their trips. It offers shared-ride, door-to-door paratransit service. It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including holidays. There is an application process, so arrangements must be made in advance of arrival in New York City. Visit www.NYC.gov and search for “Access-a-Ride.”
Scooter rentals are available by contacting ScootAround Inc., by phone toll-free at 888-441-7575, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, online at www.scootaround.com, or by fax at 204-478-1172.
The US Department of Transportation’s Aviation Consumer Protection Division has an online guide, New Horizons: Information for the Air Traveler with a Disability (airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/publications/horizons.htm). This site also explains how to file a complaint with the department.
A general resource is Barrier-Free Travels: A Nuts and Bolts Guide for Wheelers and Slow Walkers ($19.95; 2009, 3rd edition; barrierfreetravel.net). 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 in bookstores, or online at www.barrierfreetravel.net.
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), and LaGuardia Airport (LGA) are operated by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Visitors can view the joint website (www.panynj.gov) for visitors’ guides for patrons with disabilities, including information on security screening, animal relief areas, taxicab services, and public transit access.
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 door-service 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 wheelchair-accessible doors, 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.
New York Hilton Midtown
Entrance: The hotel’s main entrance on Avenue of the Americas (Sixth Avenue) is accessible.
Parking: The hotel offers valet parking. The lot has designated spaces including van-accessible spots. The valet entrance is located in the back of the hotel, on West 53rd Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues.
Guestrooms: Thirty rooms are equipped for persons with disabilities—some for the hearing impaired only—and others are for hearing-impaired guests using wheelchairs.
Sheraton New York Times Square
Entrance: The main lobby entrance on the southeast corner of Seventh Avenue and 53rd Street is accessible.
Parking: Accessible parking spaces are available; guests should enter on 53rd Street. Maximum vehicle height is six feet, five inches.
Guest rooms: The hotel has 42 guest rooms that meet standard ADA requirements.
Manhattan at Times Square
Entrance: The hotel’s entrance on Seventh Avenue is accessible.
Parking: The hotel has several accessible parking spaces. Garage entrances are on 51st and 52nd Streets.
Guestrooms: Twenty-three guestrooms are accessible, five with roll-in showers.
Sharon K. Tune is director, meetings and administration, for the American Historical Association.
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