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The Worst US ADA Compliance Area


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Reading some of the threads below, I thought I would share, and hopefully others will contribute, those areas to which we have traveled that are the worst for ADA compliance.


First on our list is Hawaii. Absolutely the worst place in the USA if you are in a wheelchair or scooter. Not only do they ignore ADA regs (Lahaina is the worst of the worst), but their attitude is ignorant. ALl they want is your money and quickly. They have no use for the handicapped.


Second on our list is the Santa Barbara enviorns and Southern California in general. I recall one restaurant that out and out told my wife and I that they were not comfortable seating her in the place as she was in a wheelchair. After I threw a screaming mi-mi fit that could have won the admiration of any 5 year old child, they seated us - in the back next to the door of the restroom. Didn't stay. Then there were the cops at the John Wayne Airport who wanted to arrest me because I acoompanied my wife into the Ladies Room to assist her. That would have made a nice civil false arrest/civil rights lawsuit. This is very typical of Southern California. I include this here (Santa Barabara is not a cruise stop) only because we cruise out of LA and San Diego and HAVE to go there.


The third place on my list is the Ft. Lauderdale area. Again, absolutely no compliance with ADA regs in services provided by hotels and restaurants. And, the airport is very unconcerned about the handicap and their travel needs. I recall one TSA individual checking my wife's shoes for explosives (sandals no less) and then trying to force the shoe back on her foot (my wife has MS and her one leg is very affected) and doing it incorrectly. My wife was crying in pain, the TSA agent would not allow me to assist. I finally did my screaming act again until a TSA Supervisor came over and corrected the situation. But along came a Florida Deputy Sheriff (or whatever county that is) who I am sure had the first name of Bubba-Joe or Jim-Bob or Moron-Mike. He told me that I was close to being arrested for disturbing the peace. In a very non clery like reaction (I'm a Lutheran clergyman), I suggested he read the First Amendment, if he was capable of reading. It got a little tense there. Got to love those redneck two-for-one-first-name deputies in the South (I grew up in the South so I have some knowledge whereof I speak).


Anyway, that is our experience with bad ADA areas. Anybody know of any others?



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I have to agree about Hawaii. I always research accessibility at any of our destinations and was surprised to find that the only information the Hawaii tourist board could provide was at least 5 years out of date. Once there, I found poor accessibilty and an inadequate number of handicap parking spaces at many public sites. In fact, the private attractions seemed to be more accomodating than public ones.


I have to disagree about the Fort Lauderdale airport. We fly in and out of there at least twice a year and have never had difficulties. Perhaps you just hit an insensetive security guard.


We have not had any other major issues in the US. However, my pet peeve is hotel shuttles. Everytime we have tried to use one either the wheelchair lift is broken or the driver does not know how to use it. We've almost missed planes twice as a result.

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I actually like Hawaii. No, not what the old outdated tourist board stuff says, but diving, kayaking, hiking, shopping, helicopter rides, sightseeing. I had a great time. Yes, you do have to research it all in advance, but I have to say there is a *lot* there. Of course, you can't just roll off the ship and expect to find "it" (accessible places). And you have to have your accessible transportation planned -- which you can do in advance. You really have to plan in advance. I just visited a few months back and found tons of stuff!! But yes, you do have to do your homework (in advance). I got more than enough specific access information for several feature articles. It's really a great place. --but again you have to research it all in advance.




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Ah, we were not coming off a cruise ship in Maui - we went there for a week. The big problems were in accessible parking (none) and restaurants - they didn't want handicap customers. I can see where being there for a day from a cruise would less problematic.


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We live in South Florida and when we were in Broward County [that's where Fort Lauderdale is!] we used FLL frequently. Never had a problem.


Restaurants, hotels, etc. in the city haven't been a problem either, although our experience with hotels there is limited.


We now live in Palm Beach County and use PBI - no problems there, either.


My husband has MS and uses a power chair. Cruising is our favorite way to travel. He stays on board in ports - I get off to explore the various places. It works well.


He did disembark in Key West, as we love the island [we were married there]. But we found the condition of the curb cuts quite poor -- made for some difficult sightseeing. Also, a lot of the shops/restaurants don't seem too handicap-friendly.


As far as other cities: Boston is the worst, IMO. [i grew up there; family all lives up there.]


We've not traveled out of the state since my husband's condition worsened; our families come here. It's not too hard to convince them in winter time!


Winks, maybe you should fly into PBI next time?

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We have been to hawaii twice, once on a cruise/stay and the second time on an 8 day land vacation. We liked Hawaii too and I also did a lot of research prior to both visits; however, I felt that there was little, if any, attempt to satisfy the ADA.


As I mentioned, there appears to be no effort to keep accessibility information up to date. And like Winks I felt there were too few handicap parking spaces, especially in Honolulu and on Maui. In addition, there was little, if any, attempt to make some of the "natural sites" accessible.

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