Chapel Hill, NC -  (March 14, 2023) – March is National Disabilities Awareness Month and the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau has published its 2023 Chapel Hill/Orange County, North Carolina Accessibility Guide.

This new 48-page official accessibility guide to disability-friendly restaurants and hotels in Chapel Hill and Orange County, NC is researched, written and edited by Valarie Schwartz, retired journalist and current freelance writer who lives in Chapel Hill.  Additionally, the Visitors Bureau is pleased to dedicate this guide to longtime ambassadors, Cresha and George Cianciolo. The dedication pages notes, “When a health condition created mobility issues for Cresha, she and George soon learned the trials of getting out and about while using a wheelchair. Even in this, while considering others, they contacted the Visitors Bureau and encouraged a guide for visitors and residents that would help all those with disabilities better understand the access granted at area restaurants and hotels for using a wheelchair.”

The guide can be read and downloaded from the Maps & Info page at

The dining section includes restaurants, cafes, coffee shops and breweries color coded by location on a map page.  Details include name, address, phone and website, plus parking, seating, service/how to order and restroom access. Hotels are also color coded on a map and include name, address, phone and website, as well as parking, lobby and amenities, bedrooms and bathrooms access.

This is the second guide the Visitors Bureau has produced. An original Access Guide produced in 2015 was written by Schwartz as well as Ellen Perry, a longtime disability rights activist born with cerebral palsy, who lives in Carrboro and also uses a wheelchair. It was awarded a Destination Marketing Association International award for an exemplary idea in visitor services. 

A very limited number of printed copies of the new official Accessibility Guide have been printed for distribution at select facilities in Orange County.

The mission of the Chapel Hill/Orange County Visitors Bureau is to develop and coordinate visitor services in Orange County and to implement marketing programs that will enhance the economic activity and quality of life in the community. The Visitors Bureau is a department of Orange County, NC Government. .


Full guide link below:

Images of Cover as JPG and PDF

Media Contacts
Laurie Paolicelli, Visitors Bureau Executive Director, (919) 245-4322 or (919) 259-1658,
Patty Griffin, info at bottom