Sunday, January 18, 2009

People with Disabilities Attending the Festivities in DC: Here are the Accomodations

If you are a person with a disability attending President Barack Obama's inauguration, the event will be made accessible for all of us! Congratulations to the team in DC who is making this happen. The following information comes to us from Delaware On Line.


Organizers and transportation officials say people with disabilities and the elderly should expect long delays in getting to the National Mall, parade route and swearing-in ceremony. They are advising everyone to plan ahead and have a backup plan. Here's what to expect:

• No cars with disability tags or license plates will be allowed to park around the Capitol.

• People with disabilities attending the swearing-in ceremony may be dropped off at South Capitol and E Street and North Capitol and E Street, where golf carts will be available to transport them to security checkpoints.

• Canes, including those with a fold-down seat, walkers and scooters are allowed.

• There will be raised platforms for wheelchair users in the seating areas at the Capitol, but space is limited. Similar platforms will be on the National Mall, too.

• Americans With Disabilities Act-compliant bleachers will be available along the parade route for people with disabilities who have parade tickets and those who don't.

• Sign-language interpreters will be in different sections at the swearing-in and along the parade route. Open captioning for the deaf and hard of hearing will be available on large TV screens on the Mall and parade route.

• Audio description services will be available for the blind and visually impaired at the swearing-in ceremony and the parade.

• Thirteen entry points for the parade will open at 7 a.m. Tuesday. All will accommodate people with disabilities.

• MetroAccess, the Metro transit system's subscription service for people with disabilities, will operate its regular schedule, but there will not be service to inauguration venues.

• Access to elevators in Metro's train stations will probably be limited because of crowds. Escalators won't be operating in certain stations.

• Wheelchair-accessible portable toilets will be available along the parade route and at the National Mall and Capitol grounds.

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