Disability Access In France

Accessibility

In France, accessibility and accommodation for individuals with disabilities are very different from what you find in the United States. French law requires that any new building with public or community space and any existing public building be accessible for persons with disabilities. However, many existing buildings, as well as transportation systems, do not yet meet these requirements.

Getting around in French cities may be difficult at times. Many sidewalks are narrow and uneven, and cobblestone streets make access difficult, but the major tourist areas have better facilities. Although the Paris Metro is a very efficient method for traveling throughout central Paris, most stations are not readily accessible for people with disabilities. Very few stations have elevators and most have stairways and long corridors for changing trains or exiting to the street. However, many Parisian buses and tramways are equipped with lowering platforms for travelers with limited-mobility, or who are sight- or hearing-disabled. Taxis are also a good mode of transportation.

An English-language Paris Visitors Bureau website and a French-language, government-sponsored website contain additional information and include links to a downloadable local transportation map specifically designed for travelers with special mobility needs.

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