From the most recent Families Together e-newsletter:
“The Access Pass is a free, lifetime entry pass for U.S. citizens and residents who have a permanent disability to visit more than 2,000 federal park and recreation sites. Many sites also give the pass holder a discount on related fees (camping, swimming, boat launching, and guided tours).”
America the Beautiful, indeed: this may make it more financially feasible for families of children with disabilities to enjoy our national parks (I know in our case that every little bit helps).
You can find the application to get the pass at http://store.usgs.gov/pass/access_pass_application.pdf?utm_source=Parent+Involvement+Matters&utm_campaign=UA-10903141-1&utm_medium=email. Note that this link will take you to a .pdf of the application requirements and the application itself. The pass is free, unless you apply for it by mail; if you apply by mail, you’ll need to include a $10 processing fee. Along with your application, you’ll need to provide:
- A photocopy of a document from a Government agency (such as SSI) or a licensed physician (i.e. a letter from your doctor on his/her letterhead) that demonstrates permanent disability.
- A photocopy of a document issued by an authorized US agency that proves you’re a US citizen or permanent residence. (This can be a driver’s license, a birth certificate or a passport, for example.)
- Payment of the $10 fee by credit card, check or money order.
The passholder gets free admission for him/herself plus a minimum of 3 friends/family members at all sorts of parks and historic sites. You can check out the current list at http://store.usgs.gov/pass/PassIssuanceList.pdf?utm_source=Parent+Involvement+Matters&utm_campaign=UA-10903141-1&utm_medium=email. This list will also tell you if you can get a pass at that site, so you can avoid the $10 fee. I can’t tell for certain, but I’m fairly sure this document is a .pdf as well.
If you have questions or need help with the application (say, you need the documents in an accessible format rather than a .pdf), you can email email@example.com or call 1-888-ASK-USGS (1-888-275-8747).