Why Accessibility Matters in Cemeteries
When you consider choosing a cemetery for your loved one or even pre-need for yourself, accessibility is one of many considerations. In the U.S., the Americans with Disabilities Act doesn’t necessarily cover cemeteries, so if you or someone in your family has physical or mobility challenges, it’s worth taking a closer look at these elements. Start by asking the cemetery what accommodations they make, and how accessible their location is.
Is the parking lot near the entrance to the grounds? If the parking lot is large or a long walk, is there a shuttle provided to the entrance?
Cemetery gates come in all shapes and sizes. Is the entryway wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair, or a golf cart, if one is needed? Are there stairs to climb or is a ramp provided? Public Transportation How close is the cemetery to public transportation, and does the public transportation have accessible exits?
Typically, cemeteries will allow in service animals, but policies can be verified.
Movement within the Cemetery
By design, many cemeteries are on large parcels of land. It might be difficult for people with mobility challenges to get from one place to another within the grounds. Additionally, regardless of location size, if headstones are very close together, it will be difficult to approach the headstone in a wheelchair or golf cart.
Many cemeteries are located on hilly or uneven terrain. Is access to the plot up a steep hill, or manageable with assisted mobility like wheelchairs?
Are curbs designed to be rounded and low enough to get over them in a wheelchair?
What will access be like when there is snow or ice on the ground? These and other considerations are worth inquiring about as you’re faced with choosing a cemetery or simply making your own future plans.
AFTR is proud to increase accessibility with the aid of technology.