Blind/Low Vision

Walk thru, tactile St. Louis Arch model.
Tactile Model of the St. Louis Arch.

NPS Photo/Sue Ford

Note: Parks may have alerts on current park conditions whenever weather or other factors (e.g., construction) has altered accessibility.   

Visitors who are blind or have low vision may find the following kinds of information on individual park accessibility pages:

Programs and Tours 

  • Do any programs offer tactile information? 

  • Where are tactile displays are located 

  • Is audio description of sights and/or activities offered, and how is that audio description accessed?

  • Alternate formats of printed materials are available? (e.g., large print, braille, digital, audio description, etc.).

  • Please check individual park websites for current program offerings or our event calendars. 

Trails and Outdoor Exhibits/Waysides

Parks may provide the following information for their trails and access to their waysides:

  • Any safety concerns visitors should keep in mind. For example, if wildlife might be encountered on a given trail, what should a person who is blind or who has low vision know to be prepared and safe?

  • Alternate formats of printed materials are available? (e.g., large print, braille, digital, audio description, etc.). 

  • Whether any trails or waysides have audio description available, and how to access those descriptions.

  • Are there waysides with tactile experiences?

  •  Some parks may have a specific Accessibility brochure information, too, with recommended or trail suggestions.

Visitor Centers

The following information may be available about park visitor centers (and other facilities, like restaurants):

  • Accessible parking information and notable terrain barriers between the parking lot and the facility entrance.

  • Alternate formats of park information on printed materials that are available (e.g., large print, braille, digital, audio description, etc.)

  • Exhibit information: How to access  audio descriptions for exhibits, whether there are tactile models and maps, orientation maps, and/or multi-sensory presentations such as audio programs and films?

  • Entrances: Are there automatic or push-button door openers? 

  • Restrooms: Are restrooms equipped with accessible stalls, sinks, and hand dryers?

  • Payphone: is there one available?   

  • Water: Are water fountains and/or a water filling station available?

  • Benches: Are benches are provided throughout the visitor center and in outdoors area around the center? Where are they located in relation to the facility entrance?

  • Elevator or Lift: Is there one, if the visitor center is more than one floor? 

Campgrounds

The following information may be available about all park campgrounds. Note that not all national parks have campgrounds.

  • Site Accessibility: General information about how many individual, group and accessible sites. Do these sites have electricity hook-ups? Are the restrooms adjacent and meet accessibility regulations? General description of terrain at the campground, level, vehicle-accessible, and what kind of surface?  

  • Alternate formats of campground maps or any visual notifications used (e.g., large print, braille, digital, audio description, etc.). 

  • When the campground registration staffed, in case of questions or if additional help is needed.   

  • Restrooms/showers: General idea of how many restrooms and showers are available.

  • Amphitheater: What kind of surface and slope is encountered on paths to and from? Is there designated accessible seating? 

Concession Facilities 

Concessioners fill a vital role with helping the National Park Service (NPS) carry out its mission. Private companies work with the NPS to offer services to park visitors that parks do not provide directly.  Concessioners offer a variety of activities and services in our National Parks from parking facilities and lodging to retail, rental and guide services.   

Follow this link for more information describing accessibility regulations upon our Concessioners. You can also search for individual park concession operation will provide more accurate up-to-date information. 

Last updated: January 26, 2021