Accessibility Around Atlanta

Is there a place in Atlanta that your child would love to visit, but you worry about its accessibility? Remember that the only way for places to become more accessible is to expect for them to be that way, advises Mark Johnson, director of advocacy for the Shepherd Center. When families of children with mobility challenges voice their concerns, attractions and venues often work to correct their accessibility issues.

Georgia Aquarium: ramps and accessible parking; special wheelchair access entry at the touch pools; wheelchair emblems on the floor at designated exhibits.

Turner Field: seven elevators; seating for disabled individuals with unobstructed views on all levels of the ballpark; low-level concession counters; special transportation and assistance to help individuals move between parking spots, entry gates and stadium seats.

Chattahoochee Nature Center: ramps throughout, except the woodland trails; new Discovery Center is entirely accessible; multi-sensory exhibits use touch and hearing to enhance every child’s experience.

Fernbank Museum of Natural History: entire museum is accessible; children’s exhibition NatureQuest designed to be engaging for all kids and abilities.

Atlanta Botanical Garden: all areas are accessible; wheelchairs available; easy garden viewing; additional overlook viewing area for unobstructed views.

High Museum of Art: all buildings, galleries and restrooms are accessible; complimentary wheelchairs available; guided tours to groups with disabilities by advance reservation.

Stone Mountain: access to laser show; train has lift for passengers; SkyRide has level ground access; five-mile paved walking trail around the mountain. (Because Stone Mountain has a few historic buildings, there may be limited wheelchair accessibility inside some structures.)

Zoo Atlanta: unobstructed wheelchair travel on open pathways; easy viewing of exhibits from several vantage points; many ramps; restrooms, restaurants and concessions are accessible.

Center for Puppetry Arts: lower-level theater has removable seats in front row, with additional seating for family members; main stage theater offers front-row seating; elevator to the Make-a-Puppet workshop; high workshop tables for chairs to roll under. (Other performance venues, such as Woodruff Arts Center and Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, are also easy to negotiate; in general, it’s older venues that can be lacking in accessibility.)

The World of Coca-Cola: wheelchairs for loan; assisted listening devices for the hearing impaired; closed captioning on video presentations; seating for resting during a visit; a row reserved for wheelchairs for the 3-D movie; elevators for easy movement between floors.

The Children’s Museum of Atlanta: fully ADA accessible, including exhibits and activities that accommodate wheelchairs, water fountains that wheelchairs will fit under, and tactile exhibits for the visually impaired; the museum is developing a special program with children with autism spectrum.

Head to a Park 

All kids, regardless of any disabilities, need to get outside for some fresh air! Most Georgia’s state parks offer accessible cottages, campsites, fishing piers, nature trails and picnic areas.
If you’re looking for even more activity, visit boundlessplayground.org for a list of Boundless playgrounds near you. Boundless is a private, not-for profit organization that builds inclusive playgrounds nationwide. These playgrounds go beyond the minimum requirements for ADA with play structures and equipment that put children with special needs in the middle of the fun.

For a listing of even more accessible and all-abilities playgrounds, visit atlantaparent.com and search “accessible playgrounds.