Howdy, all – welcome back to our blog here at Disabled Travelers.
Giving the ol’ grab bag another look, I’ve come on a recently popular topic in disabled access: Chicago! So let’s head down to the Windy City and see what kind of access guides we can cook up. I’m guessing there’ll be plenty of accessible travel options here, and hopefully the capital of Illinois, a city whose motto is “Make Big Plans”, won’t let us down. Hey, did you know that Chicago is known by so many different names, even that famous Internet encyclopedia has a page on them? Intriguing stuff … let’s check it out!
Right up there with the best in disabled access, Chicago has plenty of things to see and do for visitors of all abilities. A good place to start is Vacations Made Easy’s Guide to Disabled Travel in Chicago. This includes a great listing of attractions, accessible hotels, and tour operators, plus a little morsel of info to whet your appetite for their offerings. Naturally, you can follow the links on the page to find out more about any and all. TravelMuse also has some great resources for Chicago, including the article “Accessible Chicago”, which focuses on navigating the city with a handicapped child.
(Incidentally, TravelMuse has been showing up more and more when I look for top resources to share with y’all, so bookmarking it would probably be helpful in your future trips; it covers all kinds of topics related to travel.)
From the official tourism guide of Illinois, EnjoyIllinois.com, you can get quick access to value information, including accessible hotels and wheelchair taxis, just by typing what you’re looking for into the handy search box. For more detailed information, there is a complete travel guide in .pdf format. It really is a beautiful guide, and very new – unfortunately, it doesn’t prioritize accessibility information, but you can really get a sense of what’s available and go from there. Be warned, it’s a fairly hefty download!
Luckily, where the state is not quite up to speed, the city steps up and shows us just what disabled access Chicago is all about! The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities has some phenomenal stuff You can find news and information aplenty here, as well as a bunch of valuable links to service providers for all kinds of disability needs. By far the best resource I could find is the fantastic access guide from Easy Access Chicago. It has access reports on over 100 attractions, information pertaining to mobility-impaired access and those with vision or hearing issues, useful travel tips and facts on getting around, including an introduction to the very free and very accessible trolley system.
Honestly, I’m impressed by this, and I think you can swing a great trip to Chicago using just Easy Access, but I’d like to make a few more quick points. You’ve really got to know what you’re getting into in terms of airports wherever you go; in the case of Chicago you’ll be flying into Midway or O’Hare. Accessibility info for Midway is found here, and you can get the same kind of facts on O’Hare here. In terms of handicapped organizations, there are many throughout Chicago; one of the most respected is Access Living Chicago. It’s been around a long time, and is a good place to look if you’re considering a long stay in the Chicago area.
That’s it for now, but not for long – keep adventuring!