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Accessible Philadelphia for Families with Limited Mobility

by Angelique Platas

Sep 3, 2017

F11photo | Dreamstime

Destinations / North America

The City of Brotherly Love can be tough to navigate with the historic section’s cobblestone streets, varying neighborhoods and sometimes crowded locales. For families with limited mobility that have a difficult time maneuvering cities, check out Philadelphia’s accessible must-see stops on your next trip.


For those planning a tour, begin the day at the Independence Visitor Center. Guests with limited mobility can get a manual wheelchair while the hearing impaired receive loaned listening devices such as a receiver with headphones and a portable loop system — all compatible with most hearing aids.


Freely explore Independence Hall as the East Wing and first floor are both wheelchair accessible. The Hall’s West Wing is also wheelchair accessible and offers the Great Essentials exhibit, showcasing original printed copies of the Declaration of Independence. The Assembly Room is only accessible by a flight of stairs, but there is a photo album of the room in the East Wing, so less mobile family members will not miss out. Most rooms come with pamphlets of written information for the hearing impaired and there are free ASL interpretations for ticket-holders.

Young Family at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pa

Photo: Americanspirit | Dreamstime

The Liberty Bell Center has been updated in recent years to be easily accessible. With assisted listening devices available and open-captioned and audio-described video presentations of the Liberty Bell’s history, everyone can follow along together.


The newest museum on the Philadelphia scene is the Museum of the American Revolution. The M.O.A.R is the first museum dedicated to the independence of the United States and is fully wheelchair accessible, lends assistive listening devices and wheelchairs and offers easy-to-follow video programming tours.


A visit to Philadelphia is not complete without exploring some amazing art and cultural diversity in museums, including the Barnes Foundation, Penn Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art and the National Museum of Jewish History.


Check out Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art at the accommodating Barnes Foundation. Sign language interpreters are available with three weeks’ advance notice and film and video are presented in various exhibits. Service animals are welcome and paid personal care assistants’ admission is free when accompanying clients.


Explore Penn Museum’s Warden Garden with a new wheelchair-accessible ramp and take advantage of the many accessible features and museum programs. Penn Museum partners with Philly Touch Tours to coordinate cultural and historical tours for vision-impaired and blind guests. The Museum also works with Penn Memory Center accommodating adults with dementia and their families.

Rocky Statue at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Photo: Sébastien Chauvel | Dreamstime

The iconic Philadelphia Museum of Art offers several ways for visitors to enjoy the museum’s art together. Three sizes of wheelchairs are available on loan from the front desk as well as assisted-listening devices; Braille and other maps are available upon request. Service dogs are permitted throughout and completely customizable tours are available depending on family needs.


Check out the iconic sites, historic landmarks and amazing Philadelphia attractions with the whole family.


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