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Photo: Ian McCausland /CMHR.

Accessibility

Inclusive design is design for all.

The Museum was built to feature inclusive design and sets a global example for accessibility. From the way you enter the building to the way you interact with exhibits, we’ve designed the experience to be inclusive and accessible for everyone.

Universal design is the development of products and environments for use by everyone, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design.

Ron Mace, Architect

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Accessibility Features Around the Museum

Parking

The Accessible Drop-off Entrance has four parking stalls and brings visitors right to the doors of the Museum. Additional accessible parking can be found along Israel Asper Way.

Entrances

All Museum entrances are accessible to people using wheeled devices and people who prefer to avoid stairs. An Accessible Drop-off Entrance allows passengers to be dropped off in close proximity to entry doors.

Washrooms

Multiple washrooms are available on every gallery level. This includes at least one universal (gender-neutral and barrier-free) washroom on levels 1, 2, 3, 5, 6 and 7. The universal washroom on Level 1 is equipped with an adult-sized change table and motorized transfer lift; all other universal washrooms contain baby change tables.

Elevators

An elevator located in Bonnie & John Buhler Hall stops at all gallery levels, from levels 2 through 7. The Tower Elevator serves Level 3 through Level 8, where the Israel Asper Tower of Hope viewing platform is located.

Wheelchairs and Strollers

These are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the Level 1 Coat Check. We require a form of photo ID for the free rental.

Ramps

All galleries can be accessed through a series of inclined ramps with resting spots at regular intervals.

Support Persons

Admission is free for one person accompanying a person with special needs.

Service Animals

Service animals such as guide dogs and hearing dogs are welcome.

Cane/Seats

Foldable, portable cane-seats are available to borrow.

Telephones

A pay phone located near the Coat Check is TTY capable.

Our Mobile App

We offer a fully accessible self-guided museum tour through our free mobile app. You can use the Museum’s free Wi-Fi to download the app to your iOS or Android device, or borrow an iPod from the Ticket and Information desk at the Main Entrance.

You can also download the app before your visit to take a virtual tour and learn about the spaces you’d like to explore. It is available in English, French, American Sign Language (ASL) and Langue des signes québécoise (LSQ).

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App store links

Audio Guide

An audio guide – including the voices of Museum staff members – describes each gallery and provides highlights of exhibits and architecture. Text-based transcripts can also be viewed. Images and video are used to create a rich, interactive experience.

“Near Me” Mode

This feature connects your device to over 120 Universal Access Points (UAPs) located throughout the Museum. This feature has been designed to assist visitors who are blind or have low vision, but can be used by all visitors to learn key exhibition highlights. This is the first time this type of technology has ever been used in a Canadian cultural institution.

Sign Language

For visitors who are Deaf or hard of hearing, the app can be viewed in ASL or LSQ and includes additional sign-language content for several exhibitions.

Interactive Map

A fully accessible interactive map of the Museum’s public spaces can help you find your way. The map can tell you where you are, show you the floorplans, or guide you to your destination with text-based directions.

In the Galleries

Universal Access Points

All static exhibition content, as well as audio tours, can be accessed through a tactile marker called a Universal Access Point (UAP). UAPs are located intuitively throughout exhibit areas. These markers can be found on walls and exhibit panels, and are indicated on the floor through the use of a tactile floor strip near to the exhibit. The markers are digitally-enabled by a device carried by the visitor and consist of raised numbers and Braille codes that trigger audio. For more information, our staff can help you when you visit the Museum.

Universal Keypad

Near every touch screen interface is a Universal Keypad. The Universal Keypad (UKP) allows visitors to experience the digital content in touch screen interfaces through accessible tactile controls and voiced instructions. We have two types of UKPs, an Interactive UKP and an Audio UKP.

Interactive UKPs

Interactive UKPs are located near every touch screen interface. This type of UKP allows visitors to access the full functionality of the Museum’s interactive exhibits. It provides:

  • Basic volume controls
  • Access to descriptive audio tracks through headphones plugged into an audio jack
  • A directional keypad for menu navigation, and provides zoom functionality

Audio UKPs

Audio UKPs are located in theatre benches, and at video monitors that are not navigable. They are indicated on the floor through the use of a tactile floor strip near each exhibit. They provide:

  • Basic volume controls
  • Access to descriptive audio tracks through headphones plugged into an audio jack

More In-Gallery Features

ASL/LSQ

All videos with spoken words (excluding music lyrics) are interpreted via ASL and LSQ on screen. It is important to note that the signers on the screen are not interpreters of ASL/LSQ, but members of the Deaf community. For some exhibits, the ASL and LSQ is delivered through the mobile app.

Braille

A Braille Gallery Guide is available upon request at the Ticketing and Information desk. This guide contains tactile maps of the galleries and English and French Braille. In addition, Braille is used on all Museum Universal Access Points to provide a code for use with the Museum’s mobile app.

Typography and Print Sizes

All of the exhibits adhere to strict graphic standards to ensure content is as accessible as possible. The exhibit fonts were chosen for maximum legibility and clarity. Type sizes, placement, and even small details such as paragraph alignment and line-lengths were considered to make content easier to read.

Contrast

Colour contrast and Light Reflectance Value contrasts were designed to ensure sufficient contrast between the text and background to make text easier to read with different lighting conditions or visual impairments.

Descriptive Audio

Our videos contain descriptive audio, using a narrator to read out loud on-screen text, as well as to give a description of what is happening on screen.

Automated Voice Dubbing

This features uses descriptive audio as a means of dialogue and narration translation. Automated Voice Dubbing allows visitors to understand what is being said, even if the video is not originally in their first language of English and/or French.

Closed Captioning

All videos with spoken words (excluding music lyrics) will have closed captioning in both English and French.

Seating

All of our theaters and exhibitions with seating offer a choice of bench seating and seating with backs and arms.

Guided Tours

Our guided tours are a great way to discover more. We offer tours six days a week, in a 60-minute express tour or a 90-minute journey, and we do our best to accommodate any special needs.

Plan Your Visit

From the hundreds of captivating stories to the stunning architecture both inside and out, there’s so much to explore at the Museum. Make the most of your experience by planning your visit today.