Free Access Pass to America the Beautiful
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Did you know that individuals with disabilities may be eligible for an Access Pass to America’s National Parks at no cost?
To qualify for the pass, individuals must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of any age, determined to have a permanent disability that limits one or more life activities. There are a few ways to apply that include going to your nearest location with necessary documentation, or you can apply via mail order (USGS requires $10 handling fee). Mandatory documentation includes one of the following:
- Statement by a licensed physician
- Document issued by Federal agency such as the Veteran’s Administration, Social Security Disability Income, or Supplemental Security Income
- Document issued by a State agency such as a vocational rehabilitation agency.
Other mandatory documents:
- proof of citizenship or permanent residency
- one page application signed by the applicant
- Link to application: https://store.usgs.gov/access-pass
The Access Pass admits pass owner/s and passengers in a non-commercial vehicle at per-vehicle fee areas and pass owner + 3 adults, not to exceed 4 adults, where per-person fees are charged. (Children under 16 are always admitted free.) Access Passes last a lifetime for those who are eligible and one pass covers one vehicle at sites that charge “per vehicle.”
Having access to America’s National Parks is a great excuse to have more vacations and road trips, a way to relieve anxiety, receive visual stimulation, learn about art and nature, to venture outside of comfort zones and so on!
If traveling long distances isn’t always an easy feat, the good news is that there are over 2,000 federally owned parks in the United States so there is a great chance there is a park near you.
To find out locations, activities and landmarks that may interest you, this link will give you the details:
This image also appears as a “Mommy’s Time Out” , Breathing Space in our Mar/Apr 2016 Issue