Lincoln Park Zoo Is Part of #AccessibleChicago

February 28, 2024

A few years ago, founder of Fun 4 the Disabled Vanessa Harris had an idea: to show people, as she put it, “there is no limit to what you can see in different parts of Chicago.” She wanted to focus on the accessibility of Chicago’s cultural institutions, because she believes that everyone should be able to experience what the city has to offer.

She contacted Lincoln Park Zoo and found we were eager to help spread the word about the zoo and Chicago’s inclusive, friendly destinations. So, she set about gathering a team as well as funding to turn her idea into reality—and the following video, part of a series of videos showcasing #AccessibleChicago, is the result.

“Lincoln Park Zoo does a particularly outstanding job of assessing what accommodations are necessary for people with all kinds of disabilities,” Harris says. “It’s a fun place to go year-round; there are special events for people with disabilities, and I’m always learning something new. Lincoln Park Zoo was one of my favorites; I always tell people not to miss it. The zoo adds a special highlight to our #AccessibleChicago series.”

Accessibility is a priority at Lincoln Park Zoo. Recently, we made national news when we introduced a Memory Enrichment program for individuals navigating dementia, the first such program at any zoo. The zoo also offers sensory-friendly hours, American Sign Language interpreters for select demonstrations, and accommodations such as accessibility maps, sensory bags, visual schedules, social narratives, and adult changing tables. We are certified as Sensory Inclusive by KultureCity.

The zoo’s Hart Prins Fund Accessibility & Inclusion Manager Bill Green has been integral part of Lincoln Park Zoo’s equity efforts. He not only worked with Harris, he was featured in the video.

“It has been such a pleasure to celebrate the release of the video with her and experience the excitement,” says Green. “The #AccessibleChicago video highlights accessibility for people with disabilities at Lincoln Park Zoo. More importantly, it highlights the zoo’s commitment to the work of being a welcoming and inclusive place to connect all people to wildlife.”

For more information the zoo’s accessibility initiatives, visit

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