When it comes to judging how accessible a city is for disabled travellers, there’s nothing more important than the experiences of those travellers themselves. For all the step-free access, braille navigation and disabled help-points a city might have in theory, it’s knowing how all that stuff works in practice that is most helpful.
All of which is why a new study by business collective Valuable 500 is so interesting. The report revealed the ten most accessible cities in the world, according to the testimonies of over 3,500 disabled travellers around the world.
Respondents answered questions about transport links, the availability of accessibility information and the proximity of accommodation to attractions, shops and restaurants. Valuable 500’s report is a little wider in scope than a previous study from earlier this year, which judged accessibility purely on the number of step-free metro stations in cities around the world.
So where is the most accessible city right now, according to Valuable 500? These were the cities that made the cut, for various reasons.
Amsterdam, London, Paris and Sydney for example, featured due to their exceptionally accessible public transport systems – especially when it comes to buses, trams, ferries and overground trains. Las Vegas and Orlando, meanwhile, were noted for their accessible conference venues and accommodation.
Then there’s New York, which got a mention thanks to its accessible city guides for disabled travellers, plus Shanghai, Singapore and Tokyo, which all got a nod after decades of building more accessible public infrastructure projects.
As anyone who lives in the above cities will no doubt already know, there’s still a long way to making them as accessible as possible for disabled people – but at least they’re on the right track. If you’re looking for a more inclusive getaway, they should certainly be on your radar.
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