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Accessible Knoxville Area Restaurants

Communicating with people with disabilities

Mayor's Council on Disability Issues

Handicapped Accessible Taxi:
J & B Taxi Service, (423) 292-2775

AMS Vans:

Accessible Van Rentals: Wheelchair Getaways of Tennessee
Service all the major airports in the region including Knoxville, Chattanooga, the Tri-cities of Bristol, Kingsport, and Johnson City. All vehicles are wheelchair accessible, with either raised roofs or lowered floors and automatic ramps or lifts. Some of our handicapped accessible vans include hand controls, transfer seats and spinner knobs.

LIFT service:
Knoxville's public transit system, KAT, offer Paratransit LIFT service for individuals who are unable to use regular fixed-route buses. The LIFT is by reservation only, and you must be certified by KAT to use the service.
Download a Lift Application
Download The Lift Handbook

Cerebral Palsy Center
The center assists individuals with cerebral palsy and other development disabilities to live meaningful lives as fully participating members of the community. Offered are group living and individualized living arrangements.

241 East Woodland Ave., Knoxville, TN 37917 | 865-523-0491 | Website:

Tennessee School for the Deaf
The school serves students from nursery through grade twelve. Students receive instruction in language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, computer technology, vocational education, independent living skills, physical education, and health. In each area, staff members have developed a curriculum that is specifically designed to meet the educational needs of hearing impaired students. All of our teachers of core academic subjects are classified as Highly Qualified by virtue of having met the federal requirements that are a part of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) guidelines.

2725 Island Home Boulevard, Knoxville, TN 37920 | Phone: 854-579-2500 | Website:

Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation
The JDRF East Tennessee Chapter covers 47 counties in the East Tennessee area from Tri-Cities, to Knoxville, to Chattanooga. We host an annual Dream Gala in the Fall and we have three Walks to Cure Diabetes in the Spring – Knoxville, Tri-Cities, and Chattanooga.

355 Trane Lane Knoxville TN 37919 | Phone: 865-544-0768 | Website:

This is a program for students with disabilities, ages 3-21, and a Summer Program for students with disabilities, ages 3-21 Contact Shari Cate, 865-690-0031 or by email at

Camp Koinonia
This is a week long residential outdoor education program for over 120 children who have a variety of disabilities, from the Knoxville area. The children, ages 7-22 years old, have disabilities including hearing impairment, visual impairment, mental retardation, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, and autism. The program is organized, planned, and conducted by 150 University of Tennessee students as part of a course requirement.

Epilepsy Foundation® of East Tennessee

The Epilepsy Foundation will ensure that people with seizures are able to participate in all life experiences; and will prevent, control and cure epilepsy through services, education, advocacy and research.

1715 East Magnolia Avenue, Knoxville TN, 37917 | Phone: 800-951-4991 | Website:

Joni and Friends
This is an international disability center that services the needs of individuals with disabilities.

Knoxville, TN | Phone: 865-540-3860 | Website:

Special Olympics Tennessee

Special Olympics Tennessee offers 17 sports for athletes to choose from. Special Olympics athletes have the opportunity to expand beyond competition, by participating in the Healthy Athletes program or the Athlete Leadership Programs, where athletes can train as coaches, officials or public speakers.

Special Olympics is FREE to eligible people wishing to participate.

Special Olympics Tennessee Winter Games 2013
Over 140 athletes with intellectual disabilities will compete in Alpine Skiing & Snowboarding and Speed Skating in divisions based on age and ability. The traditional lighting of the Special Olympics flame take place on top of Ober Gatlinburg.

1001 Parkway, Suite 2, Gatlinburg, TN 37738 | Phone: 865-436-5423 | Website:

Knoxville Challenger Sports, Inc.
Knoxville Challenger Sports is an organization created to give opportunities to children and young adults with special needs. It is a non profit organization that began with Little League Challenger Baseball. It has grown to include basketball, golf, swimming, and bowling.

Phone: 865-382-3469 | Website:

Knoxville Disability Resource Center
The center provides people with disabilities, family members, businesses, professionals and the general public with information about resources, accessibility, accommodations, rights, and referrals to resources. Also offered are independent living skills training, individual advocacy services, systems advocacy, peer support, legal services, personal attendant services, ramps and rails, employment services, and special events.

900 E. Hill Ave., Suite 120, Knoxville, TN 37915 | Phone: 865-637-3666 |

Outdoors & Recreation:

Knoxville Greenways & Trails
Knox County Greenways & Trails

Ashley Nicole Dream Playground
This was Knoxville's first totally accessible playground and winner of the 2005 Tennessee Recreation and Parks Association's Best Facility Award.

The playground is named in honor of Ashley Nicole Manes who suffered injuries in a 1999 automobile accident that left her paralyzed.

There are accessible restrooms, a shelter (for rental, call 3-1-1). First Creek Greenway connects with the Park and accommodates wheelchairs, walkers and runners, cyclists, skateboards and roller blades. There is parking for 504 (25 accessible parking spaces).

Located in Caswell Park, 620 Winona Street, Knoxville, TN 37917

Knoxville Parks >>

Great Smoky Mountains National Park:

Much of the Smokies can be enjoyed from your vehicle and from accessible facilities and programs offered in the park. Activities range from viewing scenery to exploring the intricacies of the forest floor to learning about the resourceful people who made a living from this wilderness. Surfaces around historic structures are often hard-packed which allow accessibility.

Sugarlands Visitor Center
Designated accessible parking spaces are available at Sugarlands Visitor Center. Restrooms are accessible, as is the outside water fountain near the east parking lot. The visitor center is open year-round, except Christmas day, and is fully accessible. The information desk, book sales area, exhibits, and audiovisual room are all on one level. Ranger-led programs held in the visitor center are accessible. For hearing-impaired visitors, the park movie is captioned.

Cades Cove
Designated accessible parking spaces are available in the campground/picnic area parking lot across from the ranger station. The Cades Cove Campground Store and adjacent restrooms are accessible.

The Cades Cove Auto Tour booklet, available for a small fee in the Cable Mill area and at the start of the 11-mile loop road, provides a description of this historic area. The historic buildings along the loop road are not accessible due to steps, lack of hard-surfaced walkways, and distance. However, many of the exteriors can be viewed from your vehicle.

The visitor center is open daily except Christmas. Cable Mill is open seasonally. Designated accessible parking spaces are available near the sidewalk to the restrooms. There is ramp access to the visitor center where information, exhibits, and books are available. Restrooms and water fountains outside the visitor center are accessible.

The trail through the complex of historic buildings is level and surfaced with hard-packed gravel. Most of the buildings can be viewed from the outside doorways. The Becky Cable House is accessible via a ramp. The interior of the Cable mill is accessible when open. Seasonal guided tours are accessible with the exceptions noted above.

Parkwide Facilities
Temporary Parking Permit - If you have a physical disability (including a temporary disability), or have in your company someone who needs accessible parking, you may get a temporary parking permit at Sugarlands or Oconaluftee visitor centers. This allows you to park in designated accessible parking spaces. Permits are available only when the person with the disability is present.

Amphitheaters - The most accessible amphitheater is at Cades Cove. It is level, and adjacent restrooms are accessible. The amphitheaters at Elkmont and Smokemont have paved trails, but they are steep and may require assistance.

Auto Tours - The park’s backroads offer a chance to escape traffic and explore remote areas. A road guide and self-guided auto tour booklets are available for several popular, and a few quieter destinations in the park including Cades Cove, Newfound Gap Road, Roaring Fork, Tremont, and Cataloochee. All items may be purchased at visitor centers.

Camping - Reservations for an “accessible unit” (wheelchair accessible) can be made for campsites in three campgrounds: Cades Cove, Elkmont, and Smokemont, from May 15 to October 31. For reservations, call 1-877-444-6777. Accessible sites are generally level and located adjacent to accessible restrooms. The campsites have been modified with paving, specialized tables, and fire grills.

Horse Camp - Big Creek Horse Camp has an accessible campsite and restroom that are open seasonally. Reservations are required by calling 1-877-444-6777.

Horseback Riding Stables - The restrooms at Smokemont and Sugarlands riding stables are accessible.

Telephones - A wheelchair-accessible telephone (no audio amplification) is located at Cades Cove ranger station, and Oconaluftee and Sugarlands visitor centers.

Trails - Most trails in Great Smoky Mountains National Park are steep and rugged. However, an accessible trail made possible through a public-private partnership is located on Newfound Gap Road, just south of Sugarlands Visitor Center. Accessible interpretive exhibits located along the one-half mile paved trail describe the unique historic and natural features as the trail winds through second growth forest along the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River. Clay tactile exhibits, a large print brochure, and porcelain enamel wayside exhibits are available on site. Look for the tracks of a black bear that wandered across the freshly poured concrete when the trail was built! An audio tape tour is available from Sugarlands Visitor Center.


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