Accessibility

Guests learning using 2 different types of wheelchairs in the Race Challenge interactive in Sports Challenge.

Access and Accommodations for Visitors

At The Franklin Institute, we are dedicated to meeting or exceeding Federal, state, and local accessibility standards and to ensuring the full integration of individuals with disabilities who use our facilities.

For more information about accessibility at The Franklin Institute, or to request accommodations we invite you to contact the Guest Services department at 215.448.1226 Voice/TTY or guestservices@fi.edu.

  • Assistive Listening Devices (ALD)

    Assistive Listening Devices amplify and clarify sound by cutting down or eliminating ambient noise. Anyone with or without a hearing aid may use the device in all of the museum's theaters (Tuttleman IMAX®, Fels Planetarium, Franklin Theater, and Demonstration Theater.) Headsets are distributed free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis from the Atrium Information desk. Visitors must leave one form of identification (e.g., a valid driver's license, The Franklin Institute membership card, or any other ID showing their name) in order to borrow a device.

  • Visitors Using Wheelchairs

    Wheelchairs are available upon request at the Atrium Information desk or at the 20th Street Business desk. It is strongly recommended that patrons who do not normally use a wheelchair bring a friend or companion along to assist in maneuvering the wheelchair around The Franklin Institute and into their seats.

    Please view our interactive map and click on the accessibility icon in the upper right corner for clear indications on how to navigate the building using ramps and elevators in order to avoid the stairs.

  • Wheelchair Accessible Entrances and Seating

    Please view our interactive map and click on the accessibility icon in the upper right corner for clear indications on how to navigate the building using ramps and elevators in order to avoid the stairs.

    Accessible entrances to The Franklin Institute are located at the 20th Street business entrance or via the parking garage elevators into the Bartol Atrium.

    Entrance for the Tuttleman IMAX® Theater is via the IMAX® exit, 3rd level atrium. The door will open approximately 10 minutes prior to showtime.

  • Parking

    Designated parking in The Franklin Institute garage for vehicles bearing handicapped parking placards or license plates are on a first-come, first-served basis. Van accessible parking for vehicles over 6'1" with handicapped parking placards or license plates can be arranged by calling the garage office at 215.448.1391 voice or 215.448.1226 Voice/TTY, Monday-Friday from 9:00AM-5:00PM.

  • Restroom Facilities

    Visitors who use wheelchairs will find accessible stalls in the following restrooms:

    • Wisdom Hall
    • Atrium 2nd level
    • Planetarium Lobby 1st level
    • Lunchroom area 1st level
    • 4th level

     

    Baby-changing stations can be found in the following restrooms:

    • 1st level restrooms near the Fels Planetarium
    • Across from Lunch Room B
    • 2nd level near the Your Brain exhibit
    • Atrium 2nd level
    • 3rd level near the pendulum staircase


    An infant feeding room is accessible on the 3rd level near the pendulum staircase.

     

  • Sign Language Interpreters

    Sign Language Interpreters are available for museum workshops and theaters that are not captioned.

    Request for a sign language interpreter must be received three weeks prior to the reserved date at 215.448.1226 voice/TTY and are subject to the availability of an interpreter and provided at the discretion of management.

    Visitors requesting ASL must reserve and pay for their visit in full no later than two weeks in advance of date of visit. Please contact 215.448.1200 (Option 3) to purchase tickets.

  • Closed Captioning

    Rear-Window Closed Captioning System, primarily for patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing.

    Plexiglass reflector panels are available for some shows in the Fels Planetarium on the first floor. Currently, closed captioning is offered for "Wildest Weather in the Solar System." The plexiglass panel is placed on the arm of a seat that is located in the back of the Planetarium. The visitor positions the plexiglass panel to reflect text projected from the rear of the theater. The captions appear on the reflector at almost any angle the patron desires, depending on placement of the panel.

    Visitors should stop at the Information Booth for a program sheet listing show times. Please inform the Information Booth staff, which show you are planning to attend so they can inform the console operator and arrive 10 - 15 minutes before the posted show time to ensure distribution of the reflectors.

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