Baltimore Information and Resources

Local Conference Chairs Welcome

By: Joanne Benica & Nicole Hoke Wilson

Welcome to Charm City! We are thrilled to extend a warm welcome to each one of you, at the AHEAD Annual Conference, in the vibrant city of Baltimore. Baltimore is known for its inclusive and welcoming community. The city takes pride in its diversity, making it an ideal setting for an event centered around accessibility and inclusivity. Our conference venue has been carefully selected to ensure accessibility for all participants. Baltimore has made strides in creating accessible spaces, and we are committed to providing an environment that is welcoming to all attendees. As you take part in this enriching experience, we want to highlight some of the positive aspects that make Baltimore an excellent host for our conference.

Rich History and Culture: explore the rich history and culture that Baltimore has to offer. From the historic Inner Harbor to the iconic Fort McHenry, there are countless opportunities to immerse yourself in the unique heritage of the city.

Culinary Delights: Indulge in the local culinary scene with a variety of restaurants offering diverse cuisines. Whether you are a seafood enthusiast or a fan of international flavors, Baltimore has something to satisfy every palate. Waterfront Beauty: Enjoy the picturesque views along the waterfront. Take a stroll by the harbor or consider visiting the National Aquarium.

Baltimore is a hub of collaboration, and we hope the spirit of unity and cooperation extends to our conference. Engage with fellow participants, share your experiences, and forge connections that will last beyond our conference. We hope you have an unforgettable time at the AHEAD Annual Conference in Baltimore. If you have any questions or need assistance during your stay, our dedicated team is here to help make your experience seamless.

Thank you for being a part of this important gathering, and we look forward to seeing you make meaningful contributions to the discussions and sessions.

Headshot of Nicole Hoke Wilson smiling directly at the camera wearing a red suit jacket on a gray background

Joanne Benica is the Senior Director for Student Disability Services at the East Baltimore Hub at Johns Hopkins University. The East Baltimore Hub includes the School of Nursing, School of Medicine, and the Bloomberg School of Public Health. Joanne joined the Johns Hopkins team in July of 2023 after serving as the Director of Disability Services at the University of Southern Maine. With over 20 years of experience in disability services coordination in higher education at a range of institutions, Joanne has worked directly with students to create and improve access as well as partnered with various academic units to problem solve complex situations. Joanne continues to find passion for this field and feels energized about this important work in higher education. Joanne received her undergraduate degree in social work from Penn State University and Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Arkansas.

Headshot of Joanne Benica smiling directly at the camera wearing a blue and white dress taken outdoors with trees in the background

Nicole Hoke Wilson is the Senior Director for Student Disability Services (SDS), at the Homewood Hub at Johns Hopkins University. She has worked in higher education, specifically disability services, for over 20 years, and is deeply committed to promoting equal access, equal opportunity, and non-discrimination. Her previous work experience includes overseeing code of conduct, behavior intervention and care teams, and campus wellness resources. In addition, she has previously worked as a therapist for children and adolescents, providing individual, group, and family therapy; and as a diagnostician, conducting psychometric tests to identify learning disabilities. Originally from Harford County, Maryland Nicole grew up in Havre de Grace, a small historic town. The name of the town, which means “Harbor of Grace,” reflects its reputation for antique shops, waterfront attractions, scenic parks, and trails. 

Awesome Things to Do in Baltimore

Visit the linked Accessibility websites or reach out ahead of time to inquire about your specific accessibility/disability needs.

Sightseeing and Fun


Restaurants with Beautiful Views

Food Carts

The Best 10 Food Trucks near Inner Harbor Baltimore

  • Pizza di joey
  • Yomna’s Halal Gyro Cart
  • Bistro Lunch Box
  • Munchie Mikes
  • Cousins Main Lobster
  • Koco Food Truck
  • Harbor Market
  • Jimmy’s Famous Seafood truck
  • Blondie’s Doughnuts
  • Deddle’s Mini Donuts

Disability-Supporting Establishments


USS Constellation

The USS Constellation, constructed in 1854, is the only Civil War-era ship that remains afloat. It was the last sail-only (not engine-powered) ship designed and built by the United States Navy. The Constellation spent her early years in the Mediterranean and became the flagship of the African Squadron from 1859-1861. Following the Civil War, Constellation was used for humanitarian and training purposes, with a short time spent as a floating naval barracks. The ship was decommissioned in 1933, but recommissioned in 1940 to serve as a national symbol and flagship. Finally decommissioned in 1955, the USS Constellation reached her final docking place at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor in 1963. The ship is now on display to the public via the Historic Ships in Baltimore museum. Wheelchair users can access both the top deck and lower deck of the Constellation via mechanical wheelchair stair lifts. The lifts are designed for manual wheelchairs, but can accommodate some power wheelchairs depending on the combined weight of the wheelchair and its occupant. Full Accessibility information for Historic Ships exhibit available.  

Fort McHenry

Built between 1798 and 1800, Fort McHenry is a star-shaped fort which sits on the shore of the Baltimore Harbor, guarding the entrance to the city’s Inner Harbor. The fort is today known for its role in the War of 1812, in which it kept the British navy from entering the Inner Harbor through a two-day military engagement. During the exchange of fire between the British warships and Fort McHenry, Francis Scott Key wrote “The Star-Spangled Banner,” now the national anthem of the United States. The fort’s visitor center is accessible to wheelchair users and the fort itself is “mostly” accessible. Pathways in and around the fort are accessible and the grounds have multiple ADA compliant restroom facilities. Adults may gain admission to the Fort McHenry National Monument for $7.00. Admission is free for disabled visitors with the National Parks Access Pass.  General Accessibility information for Fort McHenry and Wheelchair Accessibility at Fort McHenry in Baltimore.

National Aquarium

The National Aquarium in Baltimore, opened in 1981, is among the top 5 aquariums in the United States as rated by the Travel Channel, Coastal Living magazine and others. Welcoming more than 1.5 million visitors annually, the National Aquarium entertains with a diverse selection of exhibits. Among the most popular are the Upland Tropical Rain Forest, an open ocean shark tank and the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin marine mammal pavilion. Amid 2.2 million gallons of water, the aquarium is home to some 17,000 specimens representing more than 750 species of marine life. Wheelchair accessibility is excellent, with disabled access to all exhibits throughout the property. Tickets for adults are $34.95, with a discounted rate of $31.95 available to seniors (age 65+). Accessibility information for National Aquarium. 

Federal Hill Park

Federal Hill Park is situated on a hillside next to Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The park is within the larger Federal Hill Historic District which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. A lush green space, the park is a community gathering place and serves as host to frequent outdoor music and theatre events. The historic 19th century Cross Street Market is located within walking distance of the park. Numerous bars and restaurants are located nearby. The park and neighborhood are wheelchair accessible with sidewalks and pathways throughout.

Baltimore Museum of Art

The Baltimore Museum of Art was established in 1914 and is recognized for its world renowned collection of 19th and early 20th-century modern and contemporary art. The museum today holds more than 90,000 pieces of art and maintains the largest collection of works by Henri Matisse in the world. The B.M.A.’s most important collection, assembled and donated by Ms. Etta Cone, include works by Degas, van Gogh, Manet, Matisse, Picasso and Renoir. The museum and its exhibits are fully accessible to wheelchair users. Admission to the B.M.A. is free to all. 

Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Commonly referred to as the Baltimore Basilica, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary was built between 1806 and 1821. Consecrated in May of 1821, the Basilica was the first Roman Catholic cathedral built in the United States. Architect Benjamin H. Latrobe, known as the “Father of American Architecture,” utilized a neoclassical style. Latrobe is perhaps best known for his architectural contributions to the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. Pope John Paul II visited the Basilica in 1995, followed by Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta in 1996. The Basilica was restored between 2003 and 2006 at a cost of $34 million and is regarded as one of the most beautiful cathedrals in North America. The Basilica is wheelchair accessible. Guided tours are offered are offered at different times every day of the week. Mass is celebrated daily. 

Edgar Allen Poe House & Museum

The Edgar Allen Poe House, a National Historic Landmark, is the home the author shared with his aunt, grandmother and two cousins from 1833 to 1835. The house has been preserved extremely well, but is not wheelchair accessible due to small corridors and winding staircases. The museum, however, can be accessed and features exhibits which tell the story of Poe’s life and death. A video tour of the house is available to those who are unable to tour it themselves.  



The Johns Hopkins Hospital
1800 Orleans St
Baltimore, MD 21287

University of Maryland Medical System
250 W. Pratt St.

MedStar Harbor Hospital
3001 S. Hanover St.

Mercy Medical Center
345 St. Paul Place

Urgent Care Clinics

University of Maryland Urgent Care - Rotunda
711 W 40th St Ste 173, Baltimore, MD 21211

Concentra Urgent Care
100 S. Charles St. Suite 150

University of Maryland Campus Health
408 W. Lombard St. 


Mt. Vernon Pharmacy 
900 Cathedral St #8,  
Baltimore, MD 21201 

CVS Pharmacy 
400 E. Pratt St Suite 10 
Baltimore, MD 21202

Community Pharmacy  
6 N Howard Street
Baltimore, MD 21201 

Animal Care - Veterinary Care 

CityPets Veterinary Care & Wellness 
1212 S. Charles St 
Baltimore, MD 21230 
Phone: (410) 752-7122  
Fax: (410)752-7124 

Pickles – Light Street Animal Hospital 
1601 Light Street 
Baltimore, MD 21230 
(410) 547-8385

Wheelchair Repair/Rental & Medical Equipment

Mobility City 
6020 Meadowridge Center Drive, Suite P2
Elkridge, MD 21075 
(240) 540-4952

American Medical Equipment 
733 Frederick Road
Catonsville, MD 21228
(410) 719-1222