Accessibility

The museum strives to provide a warm and friendly environment to visitors of all abilities.

We are committed to ensuring that NMWA’s facilities, services, exhibitions, and programs comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. We make reasonable accommodations to ensure that people with disabilities have equal physical and communications access, as defined by federal law.

The museum is currently working to better serve its audiences. We are working to improve the website’s usability for those with special needs, and we are exploring options for building modifications to further enhance NMWA’s physical accessibility.

If you have specific questions or concerns that are not addressed on this page, please call 202-783-5000 or email webmaster@nmwa.org in advance of your visit. To contact the museum using TTY (text telephone service), please dial 711 to connect to District of Columbia Relay.


Getting to the Museum

Planning Your Visit:
Please review the Visitor Information page for details on museum admission, hours, and transportation options, as well as the Visitor Guidelines. Acquaint yourself with the space by reviewing the museum’s layout and gallery guide.

Accessible Parking:
Since metered street parking is scarce, NMWA offers some discounted parking at nearby lots. When reviewing parking options online, filter by “Accessible Parking” and any other amenities you may require. Once purchased, present your purchase confirmation at the selected location.  

WMATA MetroAccess:
MetroAccess is a shared-ride, door-to-door, paratransit service for people whose disability prevents them from using bus or rail. Please visit the MetroAccess site for information about how to book transportation.

Museum Entrance:
A wheelchair ramp is located at the main entrance on New York Avenue.


Inside the Museum

Floors and Seating:
The floor of the Great Hall is marble; the Museum Shop and all other public spaces are covered in low-pile carpet. Benches are available on each floor, and portable folding stools are available in the second and third floor galleries near the passenger elevators and the marble staircase. Ask a security officer for assistance in locating them.

Wheelchairs:
All public areas of the museum are wheelchair accessible, and there is elevator access to all floors. NMWA is a barrier‐free location, with doorways, hallways, galleries, program spaces, water fountains, restroom stalls, sinks, and faucets accessible to wheelchairs and assistive walking devices. There is space at the front of the fifth-floor Performance Hall to accommodate wheelchairs. A limited number of wheelchairs are available at the Security Desk, located in the Great Hall, for use within the museum. Please ask a security officer for assistance.

Large-Print Exhibition Text and Audio Transcripts
Large‐print versions of special exhibition labels are available by request at the Information Desk. Not all exhibitions have an audio guide; for those that do, transcriptions will be available at the Information Desk and as a PDF on the exhibition’s web page.

Sign Language Interpretation
Upon request, the museum can provide American Sign Language interpretation for specific programs and for guided tours. Please contact education@nmwa.org at least two weeks in advance of the program date.

Accessible Tours:
Education staff will work with individuals and groups who disclose accessibility needs in advance to accommodate them to the best of our ability. If you are interested in booking a tour, please review the museum’s tour offerings and indicate any accessibility needs and special accommodations that you require on the request form.

Book a General Tour 
Book a School Group Tour 

Visiting the Museum with Small Children
Mothers may breastfeed their children anywhere in the museum. If you prefer a private space to nurse, there is a bench in the entrance area to the single-occupancy restroom located adjacent to the Kasser Board Room on the Mezzanine level. Please ask a security officer for assistance if the room is locked. Changing tables are available in both the men’s and women’s restrooms located in the Great Hall. Space for stroller parking is available in the self-service coat closet located next to the Museum Shop (see Bag Policy). The museum does not provide strollers.

Restrooms
Restrooms are available on every floor, and it is the museum’s policy that visitors may use the restroom of their choice. There is a single-occupancy, gender-neutral restroom located adjacent to the Kasser Board Room on the Mezzanine level. Please ask a security officer for assistance if the restroom is locked.

Service Animals
Service animals are welcome. Please notify a security officer of the presence of your service animal.

First Aid
First aid and an automated external defibrillator (AED) are available at the Security Desk. Security staff is CPR/AED trained and certified. Please inform a security officer in case of a health emergency.

Wireless Internet
Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the museum. Ask for the network name and password at the Information Desk.

Food Allergies:
The Mezzanine Café is open Monday–Friday from 11 a.m.–2 p.m., and the current menu is available online. If you have questions about food preparation and ingredients, contact the café at info@dirtysouthdeli.com. If you plan to bring your own snacks to the museum, please note that food and drink are not permitted in the galleries or the Performance Hall. If you require an epinephrine auto-injector in case of an allergy emergency, please bring one with you, as the museum does not have one on site.

Temperature
The average temperature in the museum is 68–72 degrees Fahrenheit, which some visitors find chilly; you may wish to bring a sweater or light jacket.

Quiet Spaces
The museum is least crowded on weekdays roughly between 10 a.m. and noon and between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., though there are occasional tour groups throughout the day and event setups that begin after 3 p.m. The quietest spaces are generally the Kasser Board Room on the Mezzanine level and the Eulabee Dix Gallery on the fourth floor. The Library and Research Center offers a quiet, comfortable place to sit and is open Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–noon and 1–5 p.m. The busiest days are the monthly Free Community Days, usually the first Sunday of every month.

Emergency Evacuation
The museum’s fire alarms operate with both visual and audible signals, and security staff is trained to assist visitors with disabilities in the event of emergency evacuation of the building.

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