In 2013 I had the opportunity to spend 4 months living in Washington DC. USA is known for legislation that regulate accessibility for people with disabilities (Rehabilitation Act 1979, Americans with Disabilities act from 1990). Washington DC is a place where certainly these rules should be applied. From my personal experience, Washington DC indeed offers good accessibility for people with physical disability, including public buildings, public transportation (buses, metro, train) cultural objects, museums, cinemas, malls. I felt quite independent living in Washington DC just because of the good accessibility.
However, my personal experience with finding an accessible flat was a bit hard. The main reason was that older buildings are “grandfathered in” which basically means any building which was build before 1990, before ADA, does not have to be accessible. Of course if the building is renovated they do make effort to provide accessibility. At the end I was able to find accessible place only in buildings that were pretty new, but with that also more expensive.
For people with disabilities who are not familiar how metro system and buses work, there is available training that you can apply for. This was very useful for me for the first couple of days, because going around with a trainer and hearing all the tips how to use public transport safely, its very important. Check more info at Washington Metropolitan Area.
Washington DC has two airports, Dulles International Airport and Reagan National Airport. The commute to both airports with public transport is very convenient. You can reach Dulles International Airport with bus number 5A, which has few stops and it is the cheaper way to travel to this airport. The commute to Reagan National Airport can be organized by using the metro, the blue line.
DC Metro map
Washington Metropolitan Area http://www.wmata.com/accessibility/metroaccess_eligibility.cfm
Shopping and dining:
Museums, galleries, gardens, parks:
The National Portrait Gallery http://www.nationalportraitgallery.org/
The National Museum of the American Indian http://www.nmai.si.edu/
Smithsonian Air and Space Museum
The Kennedy Center
Madame Tussauds Washington DC https://www.madametussauds.com/washington/
Smithsonian National Zoo