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Thanks to provisions in the Americans with Disabilities Act, most public places in the U.S. are required to comply with disability-friendly regulations. Almost all public establishments (including hotels, restaurants, museums, and so on, but not certain National Historic Landmarks), and at least some modes of public transportation provide accessible entrances and other facilities for those with mobility challenges.

The America the Beautiful -- National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass -- Access Pass (formerly the Golden Access Passport) gives visually impaired or permanently disabled persons free lifetime entrance to federal recreation sites administered by the National Park Service (NPS).

The America the Beautiful pass can only be obtained in person at any NPS facility that charges an entrance fee. The pass also offers a 50% discount on some federal-use fees for facilities such as camping, swimming, parking, boat launching, and tours. For answers to common questions, visit www.nps.gov/fees_passes.htm or call the United States Geological Survey (USGS; tel. 888/275-8747), which issues the pass.

The Columbia telephone directory contains a special section of "Community Service Numbers." It's quite comprehensive and includes services for most of these groups.

Travelers with Disabilities -- South Carolina has numerous agencies that assist people with disabilities. For specific information, call the South Carolina Disability Resources (tel. 843/795-3951; www.sciway.net). Two other agencies are the South Carolina Protection & Advocacy System for the Handicapped (tel. 803/782-0639) and the Commission for the Blind (tel. 800/922-2222 or 803/898-8731; www.sccb.state.sc.us). For transportation within South Carolina, individuals with disabilities can contact Wheelchair Getaways, Inc. (tel. 866/288-8118 or 864/271-3127; www.wheelchairgetaways.com).

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.