Seoul - Post Report Question and Answers

Would someone with physical disabilities have difficulties living in this city?

Navigating Seoul is challenging for anyone with a mobility disability or who has to push around a stroller. The terrain is very hilly. Many large roads have underground crosswalks that require you to climb stairs. Sometimes there are elevators, but often you have to go pretty far out of the way to find one. Some buses are equipped with chair lifts, but not all of them. Taxis are an affordable alternative to getting around, but trunk space is not always enough for a stroller or wheelchair. Many neighborhoods don't have sidewalks. If you have a vision or hearing impairment, it can be dangerous getting around as drivers can be quite bold. Scooters zip around without warning. This may be getting a little too "into the weeds" but Korean website are often inaccessible. They frequently use images to display text, which makes it impossible for someone relying on a screen reader to navigate the site. This can be challenging if you want to order something online, research local activities, book a hotel, etc. - Mar 2022

Mixed picture, depends on the part of town. - Nov 2021

Some, but not too many. Not every subway station is easily accessed in a wheel chair, but overall, the Koreans have similar setups as in the U.S. for stores/buses/subways. - Feb 2020

Seoul is not equipped to deal specifically with physical disabilities. The intrastructure is better than most places but that doesn't translate accesibility. If you can afford personal assistance, you will need it. - Feb 2016

This city is much easier to navigate than many others around the world. - Feb 2016

Some subway stations have many stairs, but sidewalks are quite good here. - Jul 2015

Lots of stairs to the metro but it is a very developed city with good sidewalks. Every sidewalk has raised markers to help the blind find their way. - Feb 2015

Not too bad--there are generally accommodations, although not all subways have elevators or ramps. - Jan 2014

It's not like the ADA laws here in the U.S., but people with physical disabilities are accomodated well and treated with respect in the S. Korean infrastructure. - Sep 2013

Newer buildings are more friendly to people with disabilities than older buildings, but it would still be challenging. Cross walks are equipped with signals for the visually impaired. The subway also has braille on each platform. - Jan 2011

Not good, lots of stairs, cabs are ok though, subways have lots of stairs. - Dec 2010

Although the infrastructure is excellent here, not all areas are accessible by wheelchair for example; and, anyone with mobility issues will find it difficult at times navigating the city as many facilities, usually low rise, do not have elevators leading to multiple floors. - Sep 2009

Many buildings have handicapped access and so do many forms of public transportation (subways, buses). - Jul 2008

Some. As with many large Asian cities, no thought has been given in Seoul's urban planning to those with disabilities (or even small children in strollers). - May 2008

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