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Attraction & Experience Ideas for Blind and Low Vision Visitors

Attraction & Experience Ideas for Blind and Low Vision Visitors

These Palm Beaches activities have made it easier for blind and vision-impaired guests to enjoy and explore.

The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that most places be accessible to people of all abilities, and that includes many things to do in The Palm Beaches. The following attractions and experiences have shared their specific accommodations and programs for blind and low vision travelers and locals.

Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, Palm Beach

Interior of the Flagler Museum

Tour Whitehall, the magnificent Gilded Age winter retreat of Henry Flagler and his wife Mary Lily Kenan Flagler. An in-depth audio tour is available on the Flagler Museum app, which can be downloaded to iOS or Android devices. Whitehall was built with elevation changes as a feature of its classic architecture, but permanent ramps and an elevator have been installed to help make the entire property accessible. For accessibility questions and special requests, visitors are encouraged to call 561.655.2833. On-site staff is also available to assist visitors while they’re exploring the museum.

Loggerhead Marinelife Center, Juno Beach

Turtle encounter at Loggerhead Marinelife Center

This popular all-ages attraction, just steps from Juno Beach, is a working sea turtle hospital that features exhibits and events geared toward educating the public about ocean conservation and sea turtle rehabilitation. Guests can spend time visiting with the center’s sea turtle patients, as well as exploring exhibits. Pathways are continuously kept clear for guests’ safety. The staff conducts a morning safety walk around the campus to ensure this is complete before opening. Volunteers are available to guide blind and low vision guests and docents are on hand to narrate the experience. The senses exhibit is a hands-on opportunity where guests can feel the different adaptations of each sea turtle species found in the western Atlantic Ocean. While displays are not currently available in braille, the center is seeking grant funding to make this possible.

Sandoway Discovery Center, Delray Beach

Shark tank at Sandoway Discovery Center

A nature center located in a historic home, Sandoway Discovery Center features an array of interactive exhibits and programs showcasing incredible animals and plants. It’s all about the hands-on experiences here including the invertebrate touch area where visitors can feel a sea star, urchin and/or sea cucumber and learn more about them. Daily shark feedings are another popular feature; staff feed the sharks while offering insights into their characteristics and behavior. Staff members ensure that all hallways and access areas are kept clear and free of debris. They’re also available to guide visitors and speak about the exhibits and animals.

Large groups can plan ahead to schedule a tour, and the center will provide an educator that will personally show you around and teach you about the animals. They’ll also bring out artifacts that visitors can touch (disinfected before and after use) and learn about and bring out animals for meet and greets. These experiences need to be scheduled in advance; go online or by call 561.274.7263.

Mounts Botanical Garden, West Palm Beach

Overlook at Mounts Botanical Garden

The Palm Beaches’ oldest and largest botanical garden, Mounts Botanical Garden features more than 2,000 species of tropical and subtropical plants spread out over 14 acres. The garden’s horticulture team does daily maintenance and pathway checks to ensure walkways remain clear and accessible for all visitors. Staff is not readily available to assist visitors, so it is recommended that any guests who need assistance navigating the garden bring a companion.

Goalball at the Therapeutic Recreation Complex, Lake Worth

Athletes playing goalball in Lake Worth

The Therapeutic Recreation Complex, adjacent to John Prince Park in Lake Worth, is a community center offering arts and sports programs for people with disabilities. One popular activity is goalball, a Paralympic sport designed for blind and low vision athletes. It is played on a court about the size of half a basketball court with goals spanning each side. There are six players on the court at a time, with three players on each team. Each team tries to throw the ball into the opposing team’s net while they try to block the ball. The ball looks similar to a basketball but has bells in it that help athletes orient themselves to the direction of the oncoming ball. Players are required to wear goggles that are blacked out to prevent advantage by a player who may have better vision than another.

The Therapeutic Recreation Complex’s goalball program is open to the public, and you do not have to be part of a specific team or from a certain area to participate. Players are asked to register with the facility in advance so that athletes get an understanding of the facility rules and guidelines and can complete all necessary paperwork prior to attending their first practice.  


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