Urgent Museum Notice


Photo credit: Kevin Allen
The museum strives to create an environment friendly to visitors of all abilities.

Planning Your Visit

We are committed to ensuring that the museum’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.

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.

Hours and Admission

Please review the Plan Your Visit page for details on museum admission, hours, and other offerings.

Accessible Parking

Since metered street parking is scarce, the museum offers discounted parking at some nearby lots through Parking Panda website. When reviewing parking options, 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.

Photo credit: Kevin Allen
Photo credit: Kevin Allen

Accessibility Inside the Museum

Here you’ll find the most commonly requested information. Still have questions? Please contact us at the number above.

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.

All public areas of the museum are wheelchair accessible, and there is elevator access to all floors. The museum 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 versions of collection gallery and special exhibition object 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.

Upon request, the museum can provide American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation for specific programs and guided tours. Please contact webmaster@nmwa.org at least four weeks in advance of the program date.

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 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. The museum does not provide strollers.

Restrooms are available on every floor, and visitors may use the restroom of their choice. There is a single-occupancy, gender-neutral restroom located on the Mezzanine level. Please ask a security officer for assistance if the restroom is locked.

Service animals are welcome

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.

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

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. The museum does not stock epinephrine auto-injectors or allergy medication.

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.

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 Betty Boyd Dettre 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.

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.