Skip to content
Person in wheelchair at an accessible building entrance in Philadelphia

Accessible Meetings in Philadelphia

Resources for planning an inclusive event

Aligned with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA), Philadelphia persistently makes improvements to its systems and infrastructure, aiming to foster a more inclusive and accessible environment for everyone. The Pennsylvania Convention Center and its partner hotels offer a variety of accessible options for visitors and guests. 

The Office for People with Disabilities

The City of Philadelphia’s Office for People with Disabilities ensures that the city complies with accessibility laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act and Fair Housing Act. The office was originally created through an executive order and has since been voted by Philadelphia citizens to be permanently established in the city charter.

The Office for People with Disabilities has an ADA Events Policy that upholds the commitment of the City of Philadelphia to operate the policies, practices, procedures, services, buildings, and activities so they are accessible to and usable by people with disabilities.

At events and meetings sponsored by the City of Philadelphia, members of the public with disabilities must be able to:

  • Obtain information about the meeting or event
  • Use the meeting location via accessible route
  • Find and use accessible parking/loading zones
  • Be able to fully participate in the program
  • Use public toilets, water fountains, first aid stations, and other amenities.

The policy also includes advice for meeting planners to make their event ADA compliant. The Office for People with Disabilities also has a staff member on the City’s Special Events Task Force to advise on all city-sponsored public events.

Accessibility at the Pennsylvania Convention Center

The Pennsylvania Convention Center is committed to creating a comfortable and secure environment for everyone attending its shows, meetings, conventions, and performances.

Accessible Parking:

Many handicap-accessible parking facilities are near the Convention Center, including the Convention Center Parking Facility, across from the Center.

Uber offers Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAV) that can pick-up guests through their app.

Accessible Restrooms:

All public restroom facilities at the Pennsylvania Convention Center are accessible to guests and are compliant with ADA standards.


All elevators within the building provide guests with special needs access to each level of the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Service Animals:

Trained and certified guide dogs or service animals for guests with disabilities are permitted within the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

Scooter Rental:

Scootaround offers scooter rentals on a first-come, first-served basis for guests. These guests can rent the scooters at the UPS Store on the 200 level of the Convention Center.

Additional Resources:

The staff at the Convention Center can assist in providing additional resources for convention accommodations such as clear signage, closed captioning, remote broadcasting, among others.

The Philadelphia Airport

At Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) numerous guest services, including luggage porters, sighted guides, electric carts, and wheelchairs, are facilitated by the airlines and other agencies. If assistance is required, passengers can provide advance notice to their respective airline, either by direct contact or through their travel agent.

PHL participates in the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Lanyard program to enhance customer service for all guests. When worn by passengers, the sunflower lanyard provides a discreet way for individuals with hidden disabilities to signal that they may require extra support. This initiative allows individuals to seek assistance however they can without disclosing the details of their disability.

Philadelphia Hotel Accessibility

Many Philadelphia hotels are ready to welcome guests with a commitment to accessibility, providing a diverse range of options tailored to meet the needs of those requiring additional accommodations. Whether they seek wheelchair-accessible spaces, sensory-friendly environments, or other specialized services, the city boasts a variety of lodging choices dedicated to ensuring a comfortable and inclusive experience for every visitor.

The Philadelphia Marriott Downtown and the Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown are Philadelphia’s two largest hotels and offer inclusive options for guests who require extra accommodations. For accessibility options at other partner hotels, please reach out to those hotels directly.

Accessible Attractions

Philadelphia boasts a many accessible options across popular attractions, museums, and parks, ensuring a seamless experience for all visitors. In the Historic District, the Independence Visitor Center offers manual wheelchair loans, assistive listening devices, and accessible restrooms. Across the street, Independence National Historical Park encompasses iconic sites like Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Center, each offering specific accessibility features such as wheelchair access and assistive listening devices.

The city’s museums cater to diverse needs, with institutions like the Barnes Foundation providing free manual wheelchairs, wheelchair-accessible restrooms, and assistive listening devices. The National Constitution Center offers wheelchairs and various accessibility aids for programs, while the Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History features wheelchair accessibility and loaner wheelchairs. The Philadelphia Museum of Art, committed to inclusivity, provides diverse options, including wheelchair access, assistive listening devices, and specially adapted guided tours.

For families, attractions like The Academy of Natural Sciences and The Franklin Institute offer wheelchair accessibility, while the Please Touch Museum provides an entirely wheelchair-accessible space and hosts events for families of children with special needs. Philadelphia Zoo, America’s first zoo, ensures wheelchair and stroller accessibility, offering rentals and specialized tours to meet different needs.

With a commitment to inclusivity, Philadelphia’s accessible attractions create a welcoming and enriching experience for all.