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Accessibility and Security

The public spaces, exhibitions and programs at the National Museum of African Art are designed to be accessible for visitors with disabilities.

Arriving and parking

Vehicles displaying the international symbol of accessibility may park in the designated parking spaces on Jefferson Drive. Metered parking is also available on Independence Avenue.

The main entrance to the museum, located on Independence Avenue near the gate to the Enid A. Haupt Garden, is designed to accommodate visitors in wheelchairs and with strollers. All levels of the museum are accessible by elevator.

Wheelchair availability and accessibility

Wheelchairs are available at the security desk (Independence Avenue entrance) on a first-come, first-served basis. Exhibition spaces and public facilities are accessible by elevator.

Print materials

To obtain a list of available publications or to request a specific Smithsonian publication for recording, call the Accessibility Program at 202.633.2921 (voice). More information about the Smithsonian and accessibility is available here

Exhibition materials

Exhibition materials in audiocassette, computer diskette and large-print formats are available on request at the information desk. To request a hands-on object gallery tour, call 202.633.4646 (voice) at least two weeks prior to your visit.

Requests for sign language interpreters

If you would like a sign language, oral and cued-speech interpreter for a guided museum tour, please email Vanessa Jones or call her at 202.633.4641. Because the museum does not have interpreters on staff, advance notice is necessary in order to arrange for interpreters.

Assisted Listening Devices are available for tours and public programs. Please ask for a receiver at the Information Desk.

Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TTY)

A TTY for use by visitors is located in the north foyer of the Castle.


In light of the heightened security throughout the nation, the Smithsonian has instituted new security measures. Visitors should be prepared to have their bags and belongings inspected.

Disaster Preparedness Vital Information

The Smithsonian offers a centralized web site dedicated to health issues as well as proper guidelines for Sheltering-in-place (SIP), among other tips.