Perhaps because it’s a new city compared with many others on the East Coast of the United States, or maybe because the city was built with tourism in mind, Las Vegas is actually a very friendly city when it comes to addressing the needs of those with disabilities. Hotels have plenty of rooms to accommodate a variety of handicaps, shows offer listening devices and a series of walkways and elevators make getting around the Las Vegas Strip impressively simple.
McCARRAN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Las Vegas’ airport, McCarran International Airport, is well equipped to assist the physically handicapped. Wheelchairs are on hand for loan, and airport personnel are available to help passengers reach their gates. Notify gate personnel if you’ll need assistance, as the loading and unloading of planes can be a bit chaotic and any advance notice is appreciated. Restaurants, shops and gambling areas at the airport are accessible to all guests. TTY devices for the deaf can be found in the following areas of the airport: The rotunda, the baggage claim, the ticketing area, all gates and Terminal 2.
Visit the taxi stand located outside of the baggage area to have a wheelchair accessible taxi called. Employees at the airport are happy to assist with any needs to start your trip off right!
Choose any Las Vegas hotel you want, and you’ll be able to stay. Room layout and suitable amenities differ depending on the property, but all hotels are designed to accommodate any special needs. Ramps, elevators and wide aisles throughout the property make getting around easy. Guests will find roll-in showers, low toilets and lots of space in the rooms. Some hotel pools even have poolside lifts for wheelchair users. The key is to call ahead and ensure that your needs can be accommodated when you make your hotel reservation.
>>More information on handicap accessible hotels in Las Vegas.
Like the hotels, all Las Vegas restaurants are accessible to those with disabilities. For the most part, ramps and large, open seating areas makes dining a hassle-free experience. The occasional restaurant may have stairs, which may require a journey through the kitchen to get to the seating area, but, for the most part, there are no issues with finding a place to eat. If you wish to make reservations at a particularly popular dining establishment, mention your needs upfront so there aren’t any problems when you arrive.
>>More information on handicap accessible restaurants in Las Vegas.
Attending a Las Vegas show is practically a must-have experience. Every property has them, and going to one is an experience everyone should have at some point in time. Seating is available for guests in wheelchairs, and nearly all shows offer hearing-impaired devices. Check in with the box office when you buy tickets to ensure your needs can be met.
For the most part, casinos in Las Vegas are able to accommodate anything any patron might need. Wide aisles allow for easy access on the casino floor, the removal of chairs at gaming tables is simple and an increasing number of Braille and large-print bingo cards make for easy play. Some casinos even offer sign language interpreters.
>>More information on handicap accessible gaming in Las Vegas.
TRANSPORTATION AND GETTING AROUND LAS VEGAS
There are many ways to get around Las Vegas. All cab companies in Las Vegas offer lift-equipped vans. Ask your concierge to call for a wheelchair accessible cab or order one directly from a cab company; just make sure you specify what you need. Many shuttle and limousine services are also accessible, though you’ll want to call ahead for these services as well. If you’d like to rent a car in Las Vegas, your options are plentiful, though there a handful of companies that also offer wheelchair vans for rent as well. These companies include Ability Center, Active Mobility, Better Life Mobility Center and Wheelchair Getaways. Free, plentiful parking is available around the city, and valet parking is available at most properties as well. The city bus system (CAT) is fully accessible with buses that are equipped with lifts and low floors.
As for actually getting around Las Vegas, most activities are contained within two areas of the city: The Las Vegas Strip and downtown. Activities on the Strip are, for the most part, handicapped accessible. However, those with certain medical conditions may want to steer clear of some of the more action-packed attractions and rides, such as the roller coasters. There are wide sidewalks lining both sides of Las Vegas Boulevard and a number of elevated crosswalks allow for easy access across the busy road. Use the elevators located near these bridges to access them. Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas is a pedestrian-only area, and it’s worth making your way to this part of town to catch one of the most impressive light shows you’ll ever see.
OTHER NOTES OF IMPORTANCE
The concierge at your hotel is available and accessible. Should you need anything, including medical attention, do not hesitate to ask for assistance. There are many companies in town from which you can rent a variety of equipment. Begin by contacting the companies that offer car rentals to find what you need. Las Vegas also has many companies offering services for the hearing impaired.
Keep in mind that the weather in Las Vegas is one of the city’s biggest draws, but it’s also one of the most difficult things about traveling in the city. Temperatures in the summer often exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and it is very dry year round, so make sure you drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
Photo credit: malloreigh