Most disabilities shouldn't stop anyone from traveling in Seattle. Thanks to provisions in the Americans with Disabilities Act, most public places are required to comply with disability-friendly regulations.
Almost all public establishments (including hotels, restaurants, museums, and such) and at least some modes of public transportation provide accessible entrances and other facilities for those with disabilities. For anyone using a wheelchair, the greatest difficulty of a visit to Seattle is dealing with the city's many steep hills, which rival those of San Francisco. One solution for dealing with downtown hills is to use the elevator at Pike Place Market to get between the waterfront and First Avenue. There's also a public elevator at the west end of Lenora Street (just north of Pike Place Market). This elevator connects the waterfront with the Belltown neighborhood. If you stay at the Edgewater hotel, right on the waterfront, you'll have easy access to all of the city's waterfront attractions, and you'll be able to use the elevators to get to Pike Place Market.
Most hotels now offer wheelchair-accessible accommodations, and some of the larger and more expensive properties also offer TDD telephones and other amenities for the hearing- and sight-impaired.
For information on public bus accessibility, contact Metro (tel. 206/263-3113; http://metro.kingcounty.gov/tops/accessible/accessible.html). For Metro TTY service, call tel. 711.
The America the Beautiful -- National Park and Federal Recreational Lands Pass -- Access Pass gives people who are visually impaired or have permanent disabilities (regardless of age) free lifetime entrance to federal recreation sites administered by the National Park Service (NPS), including the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Bureau of Reclamation. This may include national parks, monuments, historic sites, recreation areas, and national wildlife refuges. If you plan to visit Mount Rainier National Park or Olympic National Park, this pass is a must.
The America the Beautiful Access Pass can be obtained in person at any NPS facility that charges an entrance fee. You need to show proof of a medically determined disability. Besides free entry, the pass also offers a 50% discount on some federal-use fees charged for such facilities as camping, swimming, parking, boat launching, and tours. For more information, go to www.nps.gov/fees_passes.htm or call the United States Geological Survey (USGS; tel. 888/275-8747).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.