New Orleans is a city that everyone should be able to experience in full, regardless of disability. Whether you’re looking for information on public transportation, or a few recommendations for attractions, we’ve compiled a list of resources for both the deaf/hard of hearing and the blind below.
The first step in experiencing New Orleans is arriving. If flying into Louis Armstrong International Airport (MSY), visit their website here for information on accessibility. The airport offers TTY calls, Visual Paging, and a Hidden Disabilities program for staff to identify those in need of an extra level of customer service. Amtrak offers similar services for those traveling by train, including TTY service and accessible travel accommodations.
The Regional Transit Authority (RTA) runs the buses, streetcars, and ferries here in New Orleans. Standard buses and streetcars are equipped with devices for disabled riders, and paratransit services are available for eligible riders. In partnership with the local disability advocacy non-profit, Lighthouse Louisiana, Accessibility Cards are available for riders of public transportation who are blind, deaf-blind, or have low vision. Color coded cards can be used for communicating needs to the operator and are available at the RTA Canal Facility (2817 Canal St.) and Lighthouse Louisiana (123 State St.). For more information on accessibility in the RTA, see here. The RTA GoMobile App may also be helpful to individuals who are deaf and/or blind.
Lighthouse Louisiana is a great resource for those who are deaf, blind, or deaf-blind. A variety of services are available for individuals of all ages with these disabilities. Lighthouse Louisiana is a great place to find an American Sign Language interpreter. Interpreting services can be requested here. Their Uptown location is the perfect place to visit for resources, including a visual aids store selling everything from magnifiers to braille UNO cards. Give the store a call before visiting.
Planning on catching a show at the Saenger Theater during your visit? Contact the ticket box office for information on live interpreters offered during select performances and assistive listening devices. If seeing a show in the Broadway in New Orleans series, inquire about Sunday matinee performances, as this is when live interpreters are typically available.
Those who are deaf or hard of hearing may prefer outdoor dining to indoor. We have many great options for outdoor dining on patios, balconies, courtyards, and parklets available year-round in New Orleans. From Cajun to Asian cuisine, check out the options for outdoor dining here.
Various museums and attractions offer accessibility options for those who are deaf and/or blind. The Ogden Museum of Southern Art’s services include large print materials and verbal description services. Interested in history? The National WWII Museum has large-print visitor guides, sounds amplifying devices, and staff members trained in ASL. At Preservation Hall, noise-reducing headphones and disposable ear plugs are available for all performances. It’s more likely than not that these places offer accessibility options; call or email the museum or attraction you’re interested in for more details.
For more information on accessibility in New Orleans, see here.