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Top Ten Most Livable Cities for Wheelchair Users

 
 

Have you ever wondered where the best places to live for wheelchair users are or if your city makes the grade? Take a look at our top ten list and comment below if you agree or want to suggest another city!

For the raw data, go to our Best Places to Live for Wheelchair Users Resources and Data webpage.

top-most-livable-cities-for-wheelchair-users.png
 

WHEELCHAIR USERS TOP 10 MOST LIVABLE CITIES (Text Only)

More information and resources available at: www.LivingSpinal.com.

 

We ranked the cities against the following criteria:

 

1. Air Quality

2. Disabled Population

3. Ease of Finding Resources

4. Accessible Sports/ Recreation Facilities

5. Accessible Transportation

6. Climate

  

1st Place:

Portland

est. 1851

Portland, or the City of Roses is a thriving metropolis with an endearing quirky vibe.  Often called the most green city in the country, Portland also has an amazing sense of community, mild year round climate, great public transportation, and accessibility, which makes it #1 on our list.  

BEST AT:

Portland scored #1 on our list for adaptive recreation facilities and programs! They have a large amount of adaptive facilities and hundreds of choices of recreation programs.

 

1. Transportation

a. Bus

b. Para-Transit

c. Shuttle

d. Commuter Rail

e. Metro

f. Light Rail

2. Temperature

a. Summer: 54-81 degrees

b. Winter: 35-51 degrees

3. Air Quality

a. _ÑÒB

4. Population of Disabled

a. 26,661

5. Percentage of Employed Disabled

a. 34%

6. Ease of Finding Information/Resources

a. Easy

 

2nd Place:

San Diego

est. 1850

 

San Diego, or the America's Finest City is the second largest in California, where sun, sand, ocean, and blue skies dominate.  The gentle Mediterranean climate, stunning coastline, and great accessibility options puts this friendly city at the top of our list. 

 

BEST AT:

San Diego scored #1 on our list for accessibility.  One example of their great accessibility options is the city provides free motorized beach wheelchairs so that everyone can enjoy Southern California's iconic beaches. 

 

1. Transportation

a. Bus

b. Para-Transit

c. Taxi

d. Commuter Rail

e. Metro

f. Light Rail

2. Temperature

a. Summer: 62-76 degrees

b. Winter: 48-65 degrees

3. Air Quality

a. F

4. Population of Disabled

a. 38,002

5. Percentage of Employed Disabled

a. 35%

6. Ease of Finding Information/Resources

a. Easy

7. Accessible Sports and Recreation Facilities

a. #3 (out of 10)

 

3rd Place:

Seattle

Est: 1851

Seattle, or the Emerald City is Washington's largest city. Seattle's picture perfect scenery, mild climate, and great cultural (and culinary) scene, make this city an amazing option for wheelchair users.   

BEST AT:

Seattle  scored #1 on our list for transportation and innovation.  The city has tons of innovative thinkers and it shows, through its wide range of accessible transportation options.

1. Transportation

a. Bus

b. Para-Transit

c. Shuttle

d. Taxi

e. Commuter Rail

f. Metro

g. Light Rail

h. Ferry

2. Temperature

a. Summer: 52-73 degrees

b. Winter: 36-48 degrees

3. Air Quality

a. C

4. Population of Disabled

a. 55,799

5. Percentage of Employed Disabled

a. 25%

6. Ease of Finding Information/Resources

a. Medium

7. Accessible Sports and Recreation Facilities

a. #2 (out of 10)

 

4th Place

San Francisco

Est: 1776 

San Francisco, or the City by the Bay is known for its iconic hills, but despite the challenging topography, the city's disability community and culture is huge. San Francisco and the Bay Area's culture of acceptance is what put it on our list.

BEST AT:

For San Francisco, inclusivity is key. It has been called a _ÑÒMecca for the disability community.  That makes San Francisco number one on our list for awareness and positive disability culture. 

1. Transportation

a. Bus

b. Para-Transit

c. Shuttle

d. Taxi

e. Commuter Rail

f. Metro

g. Light Rail

2. Temperature

a. Summer: 53-68 degrees

b. Winter: 46-60 degrees

3. Air Quality

a. A

4. Population of Disabled

a. 92,570

5. Percentage of Employed Disabled

a. 34%

6. Ease of Finding Information/Resources

a. Easy

7. Accessible Sports and Recreation Facilities

a. #4 (out of 10)

 

5th Place

Salt Lake City

Est: 1847

Salt Lake City, or  Ski City USA is nestled between the Great Salt Lake and the stunning Wasatch Mountains.  Salt Lake is a small navigable city, whose warm hospitality and low cost of living makes it a great place to live for wheelchair users.

BEST AT:

Salt Lake City  scored #1 on our list for cost of living. The inexpensive cost of living and availability of adaptive housing in SLC was the best on our list. 

1. Transportation

a. Bus

b. Para-Transit

c. Light Rail

2. Temperature

a. Summer: 61-90 degrees

b. Winter: 26-44 degrees

3. Air Quality

a. F

4. Population of Disabled

a. 7,340

5. Percentage of Employed Disabled

a. 40%

6. Ease of Finding Information/Resources

a. Medium

7. Accessible Sports and Recreation Facilities

a. #7 (out of 10)

 

6th Place

Albuquerque

Est: 1891

Albuquerque, or the Duke City is a bustling desert city located a mile above sea level.  Albuquerque's rustic charm combined with a colorful history, friendly culture, and typically mild and warm climate, make it a great place to call home.

BEST AT:

Albuquerque has the best hospitals in the state of New Mexico. With top-notch hospitals comes amazing care, great rehab facilities and numerous support groups, making it a great city for wheelchair users.

 

1. Transportation

a. Bus

b. Para-Transit

c. Commuter Rail

2. Temperature

a. Summer: 62-90 degrees

b. Winter: 26-53 degrees

3. Air Quality

a. C

4. Population of Disabled

a. 23,803

5. Percentage of Employed Disabled

a. 28%

6. Ease of Finding Information/Resources

a. Very Easy

7. Accessible Sports and Recreation Facilities

a. #6 (out of 10)

 

7th Place

Reno

Est. 1871

Reno, or  the Biggest Little City in the World is Nevada's second most popular tourist destination. Located at the base of the Sierra Nevadas,  Reno offers quick access to wide open spaces. But it's Reno's newly revitalized downtown and great level of accessibility that puts it on our list.  

BEST AT:

Reno  scored #1 on our list for adaptive recreation for people with spinal cord injuries (SCI). The city has made nearly all parks, golf courses, and aquatics facilities accessible for all. In addition, the city of Reno recently received a grant, called Project Fit Reno, endowing fitness programs for individuals living with SCI.

 

1. Transportation

a. Bus

b. Para-Transit

2. Temperature

a. Summer: 52-92 degrees

b. Winter: 25-51 degrees

3. Air Quality

a. C

4. Population of Disabled

a. 8,099

5. Percentage of Employed Disabled

a. 37%

6. Ease of Finding Information/Resources

a. Very Easy

7. Accessible Sports and Recreation Facilities

a. #5 (out of 10)

  

8th Place

Denver

Est. 1856

Denver or the _ÑÒMile High City, is a fast growing metropolis with over 300 days of sunshine per year. Denver's mining and cowboy past has given way to a more cosmopolitan city focused as much on outdoor recreation as the arts.

BEST AT:

Denver is on the front-line of the disability rights movement. ADAPT, a grassroots disability rights organization was formed in Denver.  ADAPT brings attention to the disability community's lack of certain civil rights through legislative policy, education and mobilization. 

1. Transportation

a. Bus

b. Para-Transit

c. Shuttle

d. Taxi

e. Lightrail

2. Temperature

a. Summer: 53-88 degrees

b. Winter: 17-46 degrees

3. Air Quality

a. F

4. Population of Disabled

a. 24,037

5. Percentage of Employed Disabled

a. 32%

6. Ease of Finding Information/Resources

a. Very Easy

7. Accessible Sports and Recreation Facilities

a. #8 (out of 10) 

 

9th Place

Winston-Salem

Est. 1856

Winston-Salem or the Twin City is located in North-Carolina, and was primarily known for its tobacco industry. Many of the tobacco fields have been replaced with vineyards and the city is currently known for its unique blend of history, culture, charm and hospitality. 

 

BEST AT:

At a whopping 47%, Winston-Salem is number one on our list for employing the disabled. Winston-Salem has many vocational programs including the Enrichment Center, which helps adults with disabilities get and keep jobs. 

 

1. Transportation

a. Bus

b. Para-Transit

2. Temperature

a. Summer: 65-89 degrees

b. Winter: 30-53 degrees

3. Air Quality

a. F

4. Population of Disabled

a. 9,280

5. Percentage of Employed Disabled

a. 47%

6. Ease of Finding Information/Resources

a. Medium

7. Accessible Sports and Recreation Facilities

a. #9 (out of 10)

 

10th Place

Birmingham

Est. 1871

Birmingham or the Magic City,  is the largest city in Alabama, located at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.  At the center of the civil rights movement, Birmingham's tumultuous past has given way to a bright and prosperous future.

BEST AT:

Birmingham has a culture of support when it comes to spinal cord injuries. There are two centers for independent living within the city as well as a plethora of rehab facilities, resources, and adaptive recreation facilities available for those with spinal cord injuries.

 

1. Transportation

a. Bus

b. Para-Transit

2. Temperature

a. Summer: 68-91 degrees

b. Winter: 34-58 degrees

3. Air Quality

a. F

4. Population of Disabled

a. 17,146

5. Percentage of Employed Disabled

a. 25%

6. Ease of Finding Information/Resources

a. Medium

7. Accessible Sports and Recreation Facilities

a. #10 (out of 10)