July 26 is National Disability Independence Day, marking the day the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed. The civil rights law prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities. Check out these accessible and disability-friendly attractions and activities to celebrate this national awareness day.
While George H. W. Bush signed the initial ADA, George W. Bush signed the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) in 2008 to counteract the Supreme Court's narrow interpretation of disability and provide broad protection from discrimination. Plan a visit to the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum to honor the signing of the ADAAA and learn more about the life and career of our 43rd president.
The venue is fully accessible, offering plenty of handicap parking spaces, ramps, complimentary wheel chairs, closed captioned video presentations and sign language interpreters (must request prior to visit). Learn more about how to plan your visit and accessibility features here.
PRO TIP: Discounts are offered for youth, children, seniors and retired military. Free admission is offered for active duty military.
Dallas Museum of Art (DMA)
Not only is the DMA fully accessible to wheelchair and mobility device users, but the museum also offers an All Access Art program for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The program allows special needs groups the opportunity to have experiences with art, visit the galleries on a theme-based tour and make a work of art on their own. The program is free, but reservations are required and space is limited. Learn more about the program and schedule a visit here.
Bishop Arts District
Made up of more than 60 restaurants, shops and boutiques, the Bishop Arts District is a great neighborhood to explore. The neighborhood features large sidewalks and is constantly improving its roll-ability. Most of the businesses in the district are accessible. The Bishop Arts District is known as Dallas' most independent neighborhood for its plethora of independent businesses (and definitely in theme with National Disability Independence Day).
PRO TIP: Check out Wild Detectives, an independent bookstore and bar, that is truly one of the must-see gems of the district. It is wheelchair accessible and offers an outdoor patio and special events, including readings, tastings, music shows and more.
Family fun for all abilities
Many of Dallas' major attractions are fully accessible, including Reunion Tower Geo-Deck, Perot Museum of Nature and Science and Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden. For families with kids on the autism spectrum, check out our guide to sensory-friendly family fun.
PRO TIP: Check out the Dallas CityPASS to save money on our top attractions – all of which are accessible.
BONUS: Abilities Expo
The Abilities Expo is coming to Dallas Dec. 13-15 at the Dallas Market Center. This new expo will feature the latest tech and disability products, informative workshops and discussions, interactive events, adaptive sports and so much more. The best part is that it's FREE! Register to attend today.
PRO TIP: A full event schedule will be released on the Abilities Expo website three months before the event to help visitors plan their visit and see a list of all the expo offerings.
Header photo courtesy of Dallas Museum of Art