The following is the third part of a guide describing the accessibility of nearby National Park Service areas for handicapped visitors.
It is taken from a new National Park Service handbook called "Access National Parks, A Guide for Handicapped Visitors," which gives information on places where obstacles to full accessibility have been eliminated and where they exist in almost 300 areas of the National Park System.
Ford's Thatre National Historic Site - A parking garage is adjacent to the theatre, 511 10th St. NW, where President Lincoln was shot. A three-inch step from the sidewalk is the only barrier to the back of the theater, where there is ample space for visitors in wheelchairs and a clear view of the theater and stage. Restrooms are down a long flight of stairs. Access to the Paterson House at 516 10th St. NW, where Lincoln was carried, is by a long, narrow flight of steps with handrails. Sign language tours and tours for the visually handicapped can be arranged. For special tour and ticket information, call (202) 426-6294. For ticket and performance information, call the box office at (202) 347-6260.
John F. Kennedy Center for the performing Arts - For persons in wheelchairs, the Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. Nw, has a box reserved at the Opera House, Concert Hall, Eisenhower Theatre and American Film Institute. Tickets for aisle seats in the orchestra section may be purchased by patrons able to move from wheelchair to theater seat. Elevators at each theater serve orchestra, box and balcony levels and on request, the head usher will arrange for a wheelchair for those who wish to enter through a side entrance to avoid the main entrance steps.
Special restroom and telephone facilities are available on the orchestra level of each theater for patrons in wheelchairs. Parking arrangements may be made in advance by calling the garage at (202) 659-9620. Sign language tours are available each Saturday. Call (202) 254-3850. Guided tours are given daily. Rooftop-level restaurants are reached by elevator.
National Visitor Center - Located in the restored Union Station at Massachusetts Avenue and First Street NE., the center provides information, maps and other material about the city. Curb cuts have been made from the loading zone to the main level; some drinking fountains, telephones and restrooms are accessible. An information desk for visitors with handicaps is manned at all times on the main level. (202) 532-5338.
Fort Dupont Park and Activity Center - the 375-acre park, at Minnesota Avenue and Randle Circle SE, has a visitor center that is accessible at ground level. No-barrier parking is nearby. Restrooms have entry and stall doors 32 inches wide. Walkways are paved and at least 48 inches wide, with moderate gradings. The center has nonslip floors.
Guided tours, nature walks and talks and films are offered by prior arrangement. A park naturalist brings animals to the center and gives informal interpretive talks on a regular schedule. During the summer, a day camp offers arts and crafts, games, ice-skating and other programs. (202) 426-7723.
Rock Creek Park - This wooded preserve runs four miles from the north District line to the Potomac River. It has foot and bicycle trails and bridle paths, the National Zoological Park, the Rock Creek Nature Center, a public golf course, the Art Barn, Pierce Mill, Carter Barron Amphitheatre, several historic sites and many picnic areas.
Rock Creek Nature Centers - Located on Military and Glover roads NW, the nature center, the planetarium and restrooms are fully acccessible. COnstruction was recently completed to provide access to the auditorium in the lower level of the center down a moderate slope to the rear of the center, with ramps as needed. Special interpretive programs are available by arrangement for groups with hearing, visual and other disabilities. (202) 426-6828.
Pierce Mill - This 19th-century grist mill at Park Road and Tilden Street NW has entry at ground level to the first floor and by portable ramp and with assistance to the basement level. Guided tours of the mill and living history demonstrations are given by appointment for groups of visitors with visual, hearing and other disabilities. (202) 426-6908.
Carter Barron Amphitheater - The amphitheater at 16the Street and Colorado Avenue NW has gently sloping, paved walkways connecting the parking lot and the amphitheater. Because of the distance, people with mobility disabilities may park near the box office entrance gate where the curb has a ramp. The two side aisles, 34 inches wide, are accessible, but the slope to the seating areas is very steep. Alternate seating at the rear and along the aisles can be arranged by calling ahead to the box office at (202) 829-3200. Telephones are a universal height and entries to restrooms have ramps. The entry doors are 35 inches wide, and stall doors are 24 inches wide. Snack bars are accessible.