Part 4 of 4
Incredible Memories Travel specializes in accessible travel, so I want to include some notes here on my observations and experience while visiting New Orleans with the foot injury and concussion I sustained on my first day in town.
First, the sidewalks are obviously not even and can be treacherous! I wish I didn’t learn that the hard way, the VERY hard way in fact, but it did allow me to experience the VanGogh exhibit and the museum with accessibility – physical and sensory – in mind.
The VanGogh experience was set up nicely with many benches that enabled me to sit down often. There were no wheelchairs available to borrow or rent. The museum begins on the second floor. With no visible elevator, I was afraid I would need to climb the stairs. However, upon request, an aide came and took me to an elevator. Once on the exhibit level, there were no issues that my sore foot – or a wheelchair – could not maneuver. From a sensory level, most of the rooms were dimly lit with the displays adequately lit, but not overly bright, for observation. There were a few videos to watch, but they were in corners and not overwhelming visually or auditorily. As I mentioned earlier, the immersive experience was a bit long for me. However, I will say the volume was soft so that was not troublesome. Visitors are completely surrounded by moving photographs of the artwork so I can see where this could be problematic for some. There were several seating options including slingback chairs, solid benches, and pillows on the floor as well as plenty of room for wheelchairs or strollers. We stayed until the loop was completed, however, had I needed to, there was no reason for me not to depart earlier had I desired to do so.
The National WWII museum was wonderfully accessible for a wheelchair user. I learned that by first- hand experience. The morning following my fall, my foot was in worse shape and evidence of a concussion had started to develop. We were able to attain a complimentary wheelchair at the entrance. We began in the train car experience where a back row was reserved for wheelchairs. All other rows had wooden benches. Andy pushed me throughout the museum with no accessibility difficulties. The bigger issue was my head. There are videos going in so many rooms, and they are often war scenes so very visually stimulating. The main reason we need to return after a 4 hour visit, is that I could only read a portion of the exhibits and watch small snippets of those movies so did not experience full extent of the museum. I also was not able to view the Beyond All Boundaries movie, which I hear is excellent. I am happy to report that the museum is sensitive to these issues and is Certified Sensory Friendly with Kulture City, and offers sensory friendly morning visits. You can find all of their accessibility information at this link: https://www.nationalww2museum.org/visit/plan-your-visit/accessibility