Access Portsmouth logo 2016

Taking the mystery out of accessibility in historic Portsmouth, NH





What we do.

Access Portsmouth helps people with mobility challenges plan for what to expect when they visit Portsmouth, NH. It is a web-based guide with accessibility information for downtown restaurants and attractions, helping people with mobility impairments stay engaged in their community. Access Portsmouth is adapting this information into a Google Maps-based online application that could expand its reach globally. The addition of the Walk ’n' Roll Route, a user-tested and barrier-free loop, is universally helping users of wheelchairs and strollers, as well as the general public, travel around the historic downtown and waterfront.

The overall goal is far reaching: to raise awareness where it’s lacking, inspire a spirit of inclusiveness, and influence other communities to do the same throughout New England and beyond.

Too often mobility challenges lead to isolation and disconnection from your community. Going out can be stressful; one unexpected impediment can derail your entire outing, affecting both the person with mobility challenges and their family and friends. Knowing what to expect, and the ability to plan in advance, changes the likelihood of successful outings.  

We get it done.

To develop this initiative, we ‘took to the streets’ and encouraged businesses to see this as an economic driver by including links to their business website and helping with details that improve their listing. Access Portsmouth adds new locations weekly; the latest are galleries participating in Portsmouth’s monthly Art ‘round Town, creating a new opportunity to enjoy an evening of art and dining.

JSA Inc, a Portsmouth-based architecture firm and advocate of accessible environments, supports this initiative by hosting the Access Portsmouth web site and providing schedule flexibility to allow the Access team to perform inspections and travel to speaking engagements. To ensure reliable reporting, we use a team of ‘fact checkers,’ local residents who are wheelchair users. They check our listings for accuracy and give us feedback. If you see something here that could use an edit, give us a shout and we'll check it out. 

Three people, in three months, with the blessing of their firm and a budget of nothing, created something pretty big for residents and visitors in Portsmouth NH.

The Access Portsmouth team is led by Todd Hanson, a prominent local architect who lives with a neuromuscular disease, causing him to use a wheelchair for mobility and an iPad for speech. Anne Weidman does assessments and writes reviews, William Tucker provides IT support. The team members are colleagues at JSA Inc Architects in Portsmouth NH.

Contact us to discuss how to bring Access to your town!


Todd Hanson, AIA

Todd Hanson, AIA
Todd is an architect who prided himself on doing what it took to gain real empathy toward all who would experience his designs, focusing his career on tailoring environments to meet the emotional and physical needs of disparate users. "It wasn't until I became disabled that I could truly appreciate all that I didn't comprehend in regards to barriers, accessibility and inclusive environments." As principal at JSA Inc in Portsmouth, NH, Todd leads the healthcare design studio.

As a long-time Portsmouth resident, Todd enjoyed the vibrant restaurants, bars and nightlife of historic downtown Portsmouth. But from a wheelchair, the familiar became unfamiliar, seemingly inaccessible and off limits. In 2016 he had an epiphany: solve the accessibility mysteries, and share the solutions. Within months Access Portsmouth was launched.


Anne Weidman
Anne leads the marketing effort at JSA Inc Architects. She has become a pro at recognizing the impediments to mobility that show up everywhere. As ‘Inspector General’ she works directly with Portsmouth business owners and the tourism sector, helping the community understand that accessibility is a strong economic driver.

William Tucker

William Tucker
‘Tuck’ is indispensable as the guy who gets this all onto the web, challenging himself with wild Access Portsmouth requests like designing and launching a mobile phone app. He is the head of Information Technology at JSA Inc, and dabbles in politics when he’s not creating IT solutions.


Speaking engagements

Institute for Human Centered Design: Learning Not to Walk / Access Portsmouth
Age-Friendly Community Forum: Panelist, Economic development
Creative Communities Exchange/New England Foundation for the Arts: Access Portsmouth, An Economic Driver for Our City


Plan NH: Merit Award with distinction for positive impact on the social, economic and environmental health of the community.
Walk America: Designing for Inclusive Health Micro Grant


• Seacoast Online: JSA’s Access Portsmouth helps disabled navigate city
• Disability Issues:  Design Based on Architecture and Lived Experience


Get in touch:

Useful things to know:
ADA Update: A Primer for Small Business
Maine travel resource
Portsmouth city map of handicapped parking spaces

Friends of Access Portsmouth:
The Accessible Planet
Cultural Access New England
Greater Portsmouth Chamber of Commerce
Living Innovations
New England ADA Center
Northeast Passage


Please Note: Although the information contained in Access Portsmouth was believed to be correct at the time of publication, neither Access Portsmouth, JSA Inc., nor any of its officers, directors, employees or members shall be held responsible or liable for any inaccuracies, errors, or omissions nor for information that changes or becomes outdated over time. We advise you to call ahead to confirm the information contained in Access Portsmouth.

Access Portsmouth and JSA Inc. make no endorsement or warranties regarding any facilities, goods or services listed in this guide. The access features reported are not intended to reflect compliance with any local, state or federal laws, regulations or guidelines.

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