DAILY LIVING & MOBILITY

10 Accessible Art Museums in the US

Other

Jessica Levin

#1. The Metropolitan Museum: New York, New York

The Museum is committed to making its collection, buildings, programs, and services accessible to all audiences. The Met Fifth Avenue offers events for visitors with disabilities on a regular basis. The Met Fifth Avenue is accessible to wheelchair users and other visitors who need to avoid stairs. Accessible entrances are located at Fifth Avenue and 81st Street and through the parking garage at Fifth Avenue and 80th Street. Visitors with disabilities may use mobility devices, including manual and electric wheelchairs, mobility scooters, and manually powered mobility aids (such as walkers, canes, and crutches) in all areas open to public pedestrian use. You may also use certain electronic personal assistance mobility devices (EPAMDs) in areas open to public pedestrian use in accordance with Museum guidelines.   

Please contact access@metmuseum.org or 212-650-2010 for guidelines and to make a reservation. Visitors may borrow manual wheelchairs (standard and wide) from the coat check at the 81st Street entrance on a first-come, first-served basis. To request an escort for a wheelchair user, contact visitor.assistance@metmuseum.org or 212-570-3711 (two weeks' notice is preferred).Service animals are welcome in the Museum. Assistive listening devices (with headsets or neck loops) are provided at a variety of gallery programs. See the schedule of events for visitors with hearing loss. Individuals can request assistive listening devices (with headsets and neck loops) for other tours and programs. Ask at the Audio Guide Desk in the Great Hall.   

Real-time captioning is available for lectures upon request with at least three weeks' notice, subject to the availability of captioners. Contact access@metmuseum.org or 212-650-2010 (voice). Relay and voice calls welcome. American Sign Language interpretation is available free of charge for other Museum events or guided group tours with two weeks' notice, subject to the availability of interpreters. Voice interpretation may be requested for programs in ASL only. Contact access@metmuseum.org or 212-650-2010 (voice).   

Relay and voice calls welcome. Large-print label booklets are available for some exhibitions. They can be found in dispensers at exhibition entrances. Listen to the Audio Guide on your smartphone or pick up a player at the Audio Guide Desk in the Great Hall, at entrances to exhibitions, and at Met Store locations throughout the Museum. Audio Guide players are free for visitors who are blind, partially sighted, Deaf, or with hearing loss. Wheelchair-accessible public telephones, as well as telephones with volume control, are located in the Museum.

#2. J. Paul Getty Museum: Los Angeles, California

The Getty Villa is ADA accessible to all visitors. Service animals, such as a guide dog for the blind, are welcome at the Getty Villa. Seating and resting areas are available throughout the site—in the Entry Pavilion, Museum hallways, some galleries, the Outer Peristyle, the Inner Peristyle, the Herb Garden, as well as the Outdoor Classical Theater (the 400-seat amphitheater facing the Museum entrance). For further information, call (310) 440-7300 or TTY (310) 440-7305, or e-mail us at visitor services@getty.edu. For the Blind or Partially Sighted A visual descriptions audio tour offers detailed descriptions of selected works in the Villa's collection for visitors with visual loss and those seeking an in-depth looking experience. GettyGuide® multimedia players are available free of charge in the Atrium on the first floor of the Museum. For Those with Mobility Impairments Accessible parking spaces are located in both Central and South garages and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Security staff can direct you to the closest parking available. Standard wheelchairs are available for free in the Entry Pavilion. Front and rear row wheelchair seating is available at events in the Auditorium and the Outdoor Classical Theater for visitors using wheelchairs and for their companions. Please arrive early to reach this area before programs begin. Visitor Services staff are available to assist you. Accessible facilities are available in all public restrooms at the Getty Villa. Family restrooms, located adjacent to the Museum Store and at the tour bus drop-off area, include private facilities in which you can assist a companion.

#3. Art Institute of Chicago: Chicago, Illinois

Ramp access is available, but drop-offs are not permitted. Ramp access is available, and drop-offs are permitted. A traffic pullout is available from the eastbound lanes of Monroe Street.

Members who would like assistance getting to and from member events using museum-owned wheelchairs may make an appointment by e-mailing access@artic.edu. Please make an appointment one to two weeks in advance of your visit. Questions? Please call (312) 443-3600 or TDD/TTY 312-443-3680 weekdays 9:00–5:00.

Accessible parking is located in the following garages near the Art Institute. Please note that they no longer accept over-sized vans. Millennium Park garage (enter at Columbus Drive and Monroe Street), with 6' 8' clearance in some sections and an elevator at the exit East Monroe Street garage (enter at Columbus Drive and Monroe Street), with 6' 8" clearance and exit ramps at Monroe Street Grant Park North garage (enter at Michigan Avenue between Madison and Randolph), with 6' 6" clearance for vans and an elevator at the exit Elevators are located throughout the museum with access to all floors. A limited number of wheelchairs and strollers are available for free on a first-come, first-served basis. Pay telephones have volume control and are positioned at an accessible height. A TDD/TTY–equipped phone is available in the Michigan Avenue lobby. Auditoriums are equipped with designated wheelchair areas. Wheelchairs are allowed in all areas of the museum. These devices include manual or electric single seat chairs, electric mobility seated scooters and knee scooters, and other manually operated mobility devices including walkers, crutches, canes, braces, and other similar devices. Manually operated wheelchairs are available free of charge at coat check areas on a first-come, first-served basis. Advance reservations are not available.

#4. National Gallery of Art: Washington, D.C.

The Gallery is committed to making its collection, buildings, and programs accessible to all audiences. If you have questions about accessible programs, please call (202) 842-6905 Monday–Friday between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Courtesy wheelchairs for your visit to the National Gallery of Art are available Discover free accessible programs for those who are blind or have low vision. Break away from the everyday in this program for people with early-stage dementia and their caregivers. A program to enhance visual literacy for caregivers and people working in the medical profession. Explore collection highlights from the West and East Buildings with American Sign Language (ASL) video tours. Audio recordings and podcasts give access to special Gallery talks by well-known artists, curators, and historians.

#5. Cleveland Museum of Art: Cleveland, Ohio

Most of the historic 1916 building is accessible to disabled visitors, but visitors must enter the museum from the ramps and elevators at the north entrance and continue through the east wing or the atrium to access the 1916 building. Wheelchairs are available at coat check in the north lobby. Service animals accompanying disabled individuals are welcome. Specially designed tours for visually impaired and hearing-impaired visitors are offered by prior arrangement. Parking - Designated spaces, noted with signage, are available in the parking garage for visitors with disabilities. Assistive Listening Devices Audio Guide players are free for visitors who are blind, partially sighted, hard of hearing, or deaf. Printed labels and audio tour scripts for paid exhibitions are available on request at the ticket desk. Free entrance.

#6. Boston Institute of Contemporary Art: Boston, Massachusetts

The ICA is fully wheelchair accessible. Visitors who use wheelchairs may be dropped off directly in front of the museum. A limited number of wheelchairs are available in the State Street Corporation Lobby first-come, first-served, and free of charge. Reserved wheelchair seating for theater productions is available by advance request; please call the Box Office at 617-478-3103. Assistive-listening devices and sign language interpretation are available by advance request. Service animals are allowed. Large-print label texts are available in the galleries. Free Thursday nights.

#7. St. Louis Art Museum: St. Louis, Missouri

Free ADA-compliant parking is available in the lots across from the Museum’s Main Building Entrance. Directly in front of the Museum, Fine Arts Drive may be used as a drop-off and pick-up location. A ramp and power assist doors are located at the Main Building Entry Stair, on the right, to accommodate visitors with wheelchairs, walkers, or strollers.
All public areas of the Museum are ADA-compliant and accessible to wheelchair users and other visitors who need to avoid stairs. Standard wheelchairs may be requested at the Information Center in Sculpture Hall. These are available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Museum welcomes motorized wheelchairs and other personal transporters needed by disabled visitors.
The Museum welcomes certified service animals. Service animals must remain on a leash at all times while in the Museum.

ALDs are available at the Information Center in Sculpture Hall for all public programs.

The Museum offers large print versions of exhibition labels. Magnifying glasses are also available upon request.
Certified Sign Language Interpreters are available for public programs with four weeks advance notice. Please contact 314.655.5298 or classes@slam.org toarrange for this service.

#8. Walters Art Museum: Baltimore, Maryland

The Walters Art Museum is committed to serving individuals with Sensory Processing Disorders through its collaboration with Kennedy Krieger Institute. Sensory Mornings are free, registration-based programs designed to meet the diverse sensory needs of individuals with autism and related disorders. Offered four times annually, Sensory Mornings invite families to visit the Walters before it opens to the general public, providing the opportunity to enjoy time together during quiet hours. These multigenerational workshops provide hands-on activities, tactile resources, and visual supports within designated galleries; art-making experiences within a private studio; and a Sensory Break Area for those in need of respite. Enroll online for an upcoming workshop, or for more information on related offerings, please contact Colleen Oyler at 410-547-9000, ext. 300, or email coyler@thewalters.org. Docent-led touch tours of sculptures from various periods of the permanent collection are offered for blind and partially-sighted groups of between five and 15 visitors. During touch tours, both the docent and the visitor wear gloves to examine pre-selected works from the Walters collection. The Walters Art Museum's commitment to serve the blind and partially sighted community through its collaboration with the Maryland State Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped was recognized by Art Education for the Blind, New York City in 2005.

Docent-led touch tours of sculpture may also combine visual descriptions and discussions of paintings from different areas of the permanent collection. Tours are offered for blind and partially sighted groups of between five and 15 visitors. Hour-long touch and multi-sensory tours are free and available by appointment only. Three weeks advance notice is required and tours are subject to availability. Please contact John Shields, Manager of Docent Programs, at 410-547-9000, ext 235 or register online.

#9. Tucson Museum of Art: Tucson, Arizona

There are handicapped parking spaces in the free lot off Washington Street for vehicles displaying the appropriate disability permits. This parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Wheelchairs are available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis. Please ask at the information desk. The Museum offers accessible entrances, galleries, Museum Store, café, parking, elevators, drinking fountain, and restroom facilities. Sign language interpretation is available for any public program or arranged tour upon advanced request. For more information about accessibility please email the Education Department or call 520-624-2333 ext. 121. The Museum is accessible to all. Please email the Education Department, or call 520-624-2333 ext. 121 to discuss sign-language interpretation, descriptive tours, and other opportunities for people with hearing and or vision loss. Free Entrance.

#10. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts: Richmond, Virginia

Manual and motorized wheelchairs are available for use free on a first-come, first-served basis (no reservations). The Pauley Center, the Studio School, elevators, telephones, and restrooms are wheelchair-accessible. If you need a wheelchair upon arrival, please ask a security officer. Visitors who are blind or partially sighted Groups of visitors who are blind or partially sighted may experience works of art through prearranged touch tours facilitated by VMFA Education staff. Beginning September 2nd, Touch Tours are available to groups of adults and students (K–12) of 10–20 as staff and gallery space are available. Contact Tour Services at 804.340.1419 or tour services@vmfa.museum. Audio Tours are available for selected exhibitions and the permanent collection onsite and on the museum’s website. Transcripts of current VMFA Audio Tours are available in Large Print for partially sighted visitors at the Visitor Services Desk. Visitors who are Deaf or hard of hearing Sign Language Interpreters can be provided with four weeks notice for guided group tours. To book your guided tour and interpreter, please contact Tour Services at 804.340.1419 or tour services@vmfa.museum at least 4 weeks in advance of your visit. Transcripts of audio tours are available for download from the museum’s website. Laminated copies of audio scripts can be checked out from the Visitor Services desk.

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