Current news (as of October 12, 2013): The government shutdown caused the Statue of Liberty’s doors to close 12 days ago. However, New York has allocated dollars from their state tourism budget to reopen this popular site to the public.
Last October, the Statue of Liberty had also reopened after a year of renovations to make it wheelchair accessible. According to UPI.com, about 3.5 million people visit Lady Liberty every year. Thanks to the renovations — which include new staircases and a specialized elevator for wheelchair users — there is room for 26,000 more visitors.
Want to see what the accessibility upgrades look like? Check out this inside view from CNN.com:
Now that you’ve seen it from the inside out, here’s what you need to know about accessibility in, on and around Liberty Island:
Per the National Park Service website (NPS.gov), Ellis and Liberty Islands are primarily accessible and ADA-compliant — with a few exceptions. Handicapped accessible parking and restrooms are available in Jersey City, New Jersey and at Liberty State Park. Additionally, level walkways now lead visitors to the ferry boarding area. Note: Ferry restrooms are not handicapped accessible.
Assistance animals are welcome on the islands and ferry boats.
Several wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis for use at Ellis and Liberty Islands. There is no cost for this service, but you must use a driver’s license or other ID card as a “deposit.”
Dining venues and outside grounds, as well as the information center, book store and gift pavilion, are all ADA-compliant.
If getting to the Island itself is a logistical challenge for you or your loved one, consider a scooter, auto lift, folding ramp, or turning automotive seat to make things easier. Learn about more accessibility equipment and services by finding your local 101 Mobility.
For more wheelchair accessible national parks and monuments, check out our blog post for some ideas.