Accessibility

The museum is accessible to people with disabilities. The following resources are available to visitors.

Arriving and Parking
Visitors with vehicles displaying the international symbol of accessibility may park in the two spaces available for this purpose located adjacent to the museum on the northeast corner of Jefferson Drive and Fourth Street, SW. Additional metered parking surrounds the building on all sides.

Wheelchair Accessibility and Availability
Entrances to the museum have ramps to accommodate visitors in wheelchairs. All visitors, except for pre-registered school groups, must enter through the east entrance nearest Third Street, SW. All levels of the museum, including exhibition spaces and public facilities, are accessible by elevator. Wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the security desks located near both entrances.

Visitors who are blind or have low vision
The museum is a location for the Aira Access mobile information and verbal description service. Visitors can download the free Aira app on a smartphone, connect to the museum’s free Wi-Fi, and use the app to speak to an Aira agent using minutes provided courtesy of the Smithsonian. Visit Aira Access for more information, or download an Aira guide.

Tactile elements are included throughout the museum. Tactile and/or verbal description tours can be arranged by contacting Group Reservations at 202-633-6644 or nmai-groupreservations@si.edu. Two weeks advance notice is appreciated.

Visitors who are deaf or have hearing loss
Sign language, oral, or cued-speech interpretation is available upon request. Because the museum does not have interpreters on staff, advance notice is necessary to arrange for interpreters. Please contact Group Reservations at 202-633-6644 or nmai-groupreservations@si.edu at least three weeks prior to visiting the museum. In the request, please explain as specifically as possible the services needed; for example, whether an ASL interpreter rather than a PSE or Signed English interpreter is preferred.

Closed Captioning and Assistive Listening
The Lelawi Theater, on Level Four, is a unique visitor experience. Visitors may check out a hand-held captioning device from the Visitor Services usher. The device digitally displays film captions. The Rasmuson Theater, on Level One, is equipped with an assistive listening system.

All videos with narration in exhibition galleries are open captioned.

Visitors with cognitive disabilities
The museum participates in the Morning at the Museum program, a sensory-friendly experience for families of children with disabilities offered through Access Smithsonian. Families register in advance for this program, which provides visitor access to the museum early on a Saturday morning. To learn more about Morning at the Museum, please contact Ashley Grady at 202-633-2921 or access@si.edu.

Smithsonian Accessibility Program
The Accessibility Program supports the Smithsonian in making all visitors feel welcome by providing consistent, effortless access to the Institution’s programs, collections, and facilities. For more information on Smithsonian accessibility policies and programs, visit Access Smithsonian, or contact 202-633-2921 (voice) or access@si.edu.