Accessibility at Cooper Hewitt

Installation view of Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial

Cooper Hewitt offers a variety of access services so that everyone can enjoy the museum—including the Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden— to the fullest extent possible. In the Great Hall, our Visitor Experience team is available to answer any questions about accessibility. Visitors may also email Cooper Hewitt or call 917.809.6732.

Visitors with limited mobility

Cooper Hewitt is accessible to visitors with limited mobility through our East 91st Street entrance and the Arthur Ross Terrace and Garden entrance on East 90th Street. From the garden, there is an entrance to our Tarallucci e Vino Cafe, where an elevator is available to bring visitors to the first floor. Inside the museum, a passenger elevator brings visitors to all four floors of galleries. Standard manual wheelchairs are available free of charge on a first-come, first-serve basis at our coat check, located immediately to the right of the museum’s East 91st Street entrance. All of Cooper Hewitt’s restrooms are wheelchair accessible.

Visitors who are deaf

For visitors who are deaf, sign-language interpretation is available for Cooper Hewitt programs. Email the museum or call 917.809.6732. This service is free of charge. Two weeks advance notice is appreciated.

visitors with vision loss

For visitors who are blind or have low vision, our daily docent tours provide dynamic verbal descriptions of the exhibitions on view. Tactile exploration of design objects is also available. For details, please inquire at our Visitor Experience desk. To schedule a free guided group tour for visitors who are blind or have low vision, please register at least six weeks in advance of the desired tour date using the tour registration form.  Email the museum or call 917.809.6732 for all further inquiries.

Large-print labels are available at the Visitor Experience desk and also can be downloaded from our website.

Braille is available on all our facilities signage. Online, our Object of the Day blog includes a spoken-word audio recording of the curatorial text for each blog item.

Service dogs

Visitors with disabilities are welcome to bring to the museum  a service dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks.

Morning at the museum

Morning at the Museum is a free Smithsonian public program for visitors with cognitive and sensory processing disabilities that takes place on select Saturdays one hour prior to the museum opening, Cooper Hewitt’s Morning at the Museum program provides pre-visit materials for participating families, a gallery scavenger hunt, design activities, and a “take a break” space.

Featured Image: Installation view of "Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial." Photo by Matt Flynn © 2016 Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum