The Art Institute of Chicago welcomes all visitors and affirms its commitment to making its programs and services accessible to everyone. The museum has a range of resources and programs designed specifically for adults and children with disabilities.
Access to the Museum
Michigan Avenue Entrance
Ramp access is available, but drop-offs are not permitted.
Modern Wing Entrance
Ramp access is available, and drop-offs are permitted. A traffic pullout is available from the eastbound lanes of Monroe Street.
Elevators are located throughout the museum with access to all floors. A limited number of wheelchairs and strollers are available for free on a first-come, first-served basis. Pay telephones have volume control and are positioned at an accessible height. A TDD/TYY–equipped phone is available in the Michigan Avenue lobby. Auditoriums are equipped with designated wheelchair areas.
Wheelchairs are allowed in all areas of the museum. These devices include manual or electric single seat chairs, electric mobility seated scooters and knee scooters, and other manually operated mobility devices including walkers, crutches, canes, braces, and other similar devices. Manually operated wheelchairs are available free of charge at coat check areas on a first-come, first-served basis. Advance reservations are not available.
Fullerton Hall is equipped with hearing-assist devices, which are available at the Michigan Avenue checkroom.
The museum's audio guide offers a self-guided tour of the galleries and some special exhibitions using a handheld MP3 player. Audio guides can be purchased at the admission counter when buying a ticket or at the audio guide counter in the Michigan Avenue or Modern Wing lobbies for $7 ($5 for members). The audio guide is compatible with t-coil hearing induction loops and free for visitors who are blind or with low vision and their escorts.
Audio tours and printed transcripts for some special exhibitions may be available. Please inquire at the audio guide desk.
The Art Institute offers monthly, interactive, public tours of works in the collection presented in American Sign Language with voice interpretation. Visit the calendar for a list of upcoming ASL gallery talks. Sign language interpretation is also available upon request for any public lecture or gallery talk. Please TDD/TTY (312) 443-3680 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org two weeks in advance to schedule a signed interpretation.
Tours with Sighted Guides
Visitors who are blind or have low vision may arrange for free guided museum tours by calling the Department of Museum Education at (312) 857-7641 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays. Please arrange for tour one to two weeks in advance. Tours may include verbal descriptions of the collection and exhibitions, a visit to the Touch Gallery, or a hands-on exploration of the TacTiles and 3-D printed replicas of original works of art.
Located in the Ryan Learning Center, the Elizabeth Morse Touch Gallery is specifically designed for visitors with blindness and low vision but available to all.
Children's Multimedia Program
Located in the Ryan Learning Center, Curious Corner is a wheelchair–accessible station where families can learn about art through interactive stories and games.
The Art Institute is pleased to offer a fresh approach to experiencing art for visitors who have low vision: TacTiles. These kits consist of a series of masterpieces from the Art Institute's collection represented on handheld tiles designed to be touched. The tiles reproduce the compositions and textures of the artworks, making them legible through the fingertips. Each TacTile fits into a slot in a specially designed carrying case, which includes a color photograph, a large-type print description, and a braille description of each work.
The TacTiles are available free of charge in the Crown Family Educator Resource Center. Visitors may request a guided tour with the TacTiles with advance notice. For more information, call (312) 857-7641.
TacTiles are made possible thanks to a generous grant from Buddy Mayer and the Rothschild Foundation.
TacTiles were developed by the Department of Museum Education and Helen Maria Nugent, associate professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.