Wheelchair Accessible ActivitiesThere are approximately 25 million people in the world with mobility problems, but that shouldn’t stop anyone from visiting the Valley Isle. We have found lots of great wheelchair accessible activities on all parts of the island and would love to share our best recommendations.

When first arriving in Maui, you should know that all Maui public buses are wheelchair accessible. If you plan on renting a car, there are several companies that offer wheelchair accessible vehicles.

 

Getting Around

  • Wheelchair Getaways of Hawaii – Dodge Grand Caravans with manual ramps, lowered floors, securement system for wheelchairs or scooters with pick-up and delivery services available
  • Wheelers Van Rentals of Hawaii –  Wheelchair/scooter accessible Dodge, Chrysler, and Toyota minivans with airport and cruise ship terminal deliveries available
  • Maui Mobility Systems – Wheelchair accessible Honda Odyssey vans and sport utility vehicle rentals and sales, scooter rentals and sales

Wheelchair Accessible Activities

Since Maui is under the jurisdiction of the Americans with Disabilities Act, all stairs should have a corresponding ramp and all escalators a corresponding elevator. When looking for a place to stay, we always suggest calling ahead to see which hotels, condos and resorts offer ADA compliant rooms, but we have some recommendations that may get you started.

 

Where to Stay

  • Maui Accessible Condo – Owned by Bruce and Amy Bernhardt, this completely wheelchair accessible condo in Ma’alaea has many great features, including a barrier free roll in shower, roll under bathroom counter and sink, ADA compliant toilet with grab bars, etc.
  • Four Seasons Maui at Wailea – Directly on the beach in South Maui, this gorgeous resort offers 16 ADA compliant rooms and 1 ADA suite as well as beach wheelchairs.
  • Kaanapali Beach Hotel – Offers furniture and toilet engineered with ADA standards, bath tub with rails, grab bars, and hand-held showers, and other equipment available for rent.
  • Wheelchair Accessible Vacation Rentals – There are literally hundreds of options around the island, and if you prefer the low key condo rentals opposed to resorts, this is a good start.

Wheelchair Accessible Activities

Now that you’ve got that covered, let’s move on to the fun stuff. Here are some great activities for your trip to Maui.

 

Wheelchair Accessible ActivitiesWhat to Do

  • Helicopter Tour – One of the coolest things you can experience is the view of Maui from above. Check out Sunshine Helicopters, who offer a wheelchair lift.
  • Whale Watching – Although ocean vessels in Maui are not required to meet ADA requirements, some boats still offer accommodations. All Maui Tours offers a wheelchair accessible whale watching tour, and we suggest calling ahead to find out about others that are available. Another great way to see the whales and enjoy a beautiful boat ride is to take the ferry from Lahaina to the neighbor island of Lana’i, which is also wheelchair accessible.
  • Maui Ocean Center – Everyone loves the Maui aquarium. Come spend the day exploring life under the surface at the Maui Ocean Center, which is wheelchair accessible and full of interesting things to see and do, like the Turtle Lagoon, Hammerhead Harbor, and Sea Jelly Gallery.
  • Haleakala – Watching the sunrise from atop the 10,000 ft. volcano is an experience like no other. Make the winding trip up to the top to watch the sky change dramatically above the clouds. Bring your placard, a camera and warm clothes! Handicap parking is available at the summit.
  • The Road to Hana – Leave the driving up to the pros and take a beautiful tour through the winding rainforest of Maui’s famous Road to Hana. Polynesian Adventure Tours offers buses with lifts.
  • Luau – What’s a Hawaiian vacation without a luau? There are several to choose from, but some of the most popular options are the Old Lahaina Luau, The Feast at LeleKaanapali Westin Luau, The Grand Luau at Honua’ula and Hyatt Luau Drums of the Pacific.
  • Sugar Cane Train – Fitted with a wheelchair lift, the Sugar Cane train is a staple for a nice afternoon activity in West Maui. Giving you nice views of Kaanapali and historic Lahaina town, relax and enjoy panoramic views of paradise.
  • Sea Kayaking – Ron Bass, a certified Disabled Ski Instructor and Licensed Practical Nurse on Maui, does sea kayaking with a 3-man kayak so that you and a friend can go at the same time. Contact him for availability at (808) 572-6299.
  • Explore the Beaches – Kaanapali Beach, Kamaole I Beach in Kihei and Wailea Beach are all great wheelchair accessible beaches. Kamaole I even has a free beach wheelchair on a first come, first serve basis, which is usually located at the lifeguard tower.
  • Scuba DivingLahaina Divers is a great handicap-friendly option, offering Paraplegic Diver Training as well as Visually Impaired Diver Training. They are a recognized member of the Handicap Scuba Association.
  • Wine Tasting – Visit Maui’s Winery at Tedeschi’s Vineyards for a beautiful drive along the less traveled side of Haleakala and a nice day of wine tasting in Hawaii.
  • Shopping – Explore Front Street and Whalers Village in Lahaina and The Shops at Wailea, which are all wheelchair accessible.
  • Other Options – Contact Bruce Bernhardt of MauiAccessibleCondo.com, who has created an extensive list of wheelchair accessible activities on a map of Maui, which is a truly great resource for everyone and a great way to plan activities in specific parts of the island. Great work, Bruce!

 

Other Resources

We hope you find this information useful and look forward to making your Maui vacation one of the best yet!

All photos taken by Natalie Brown.

 

Sources: 

http://www.accessiblehawaii.com/

http://dsc.ucsf.edu/publication.php

http://www.ehow.com/about_5422917_people-wheelchairs.html

http://www.newdisability.com/wheelchairstatistics.htm

http://www.globalaccessnews.com/maui.htm

http://mauiaccessiblecondo.com/

http://www.wheelchairtraveling.com/maui-hi-wheelchair-accessible-guide-to-paradise/