An Accessible Experience

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences aims to provide a friendly, accessible environment for all visitors by providing the widest possible access to our building, exhibitions, events, and programs. The Access Guide provides a comprehensive list of available accommodations.

General Access Guide (PDF)
Special Events Access Guide (PDF)

During this phase of reopening onsite operations, the following services are currently unavailable:

  • Guided Tactile Tours
  • Sensory-Friendly Programs and Events
  • Strollers
  • Assisted Listening Devices
  • Movie Transcripts
  • Some touch screens
  • The Nature Research Center entrance connecting to the Green Square Parking Deck will not be open to the public.
  • Onsite programs at Prairie Ridge

VISITORS WHO ARE BLIND OR HAVE LOW VISION

Guided Tactile Tours are available for free to small groups visiting the Museum. Registration for tours is required at least two weeks prior to desired date.

Beacons provide independent wayfinding of the Nature Research Center via the BlindSquare Event iOS App. You can download the app to your Apple device by visiting the BlindSquare App in the iTunes Store.

VISITORS WITH AUTISM OR SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDERS

The Sensory Map identifies sensory-friendly spaces within the Museum.
Sensory Map (PDF)

Social Stories detail what to expect when visiting the Museum. They are available in both English and Español.

Noise-Cancelling Headphones are available to checkout for free at both Information Desks.

Quiet Room is located on the first floor of the Nature Exploration Center.

Sensory-Friendly Morning is an event held annually for visitors to enjoy the Museum in a calmer, quieter atmosphere. The event features Museum scientists, live animals and their keepers, and a host of other sensory-friendly activities. For more information, please see the

Sensory-Friendly Morning Event Page on the program and events calendar.

VISITORS WHO ARE DEAF OR HARD OF HEARING

Sign Language Interpretation for live presentations or programs is available upon request. Requests must be made no less than three weeks in advance with accessibility@naturalsciences.org or 919.707.9976.

Assistive Listening Devices are available upon request for visitors attending live presentations or programs.

Movie Transcripts are available for showings in the WRAL 3D Theater for free from the Box Office.

MOBILITY

Wheelchairs are available for free at both Information Desks.

Automatic Doors are located at the entrances to the Nature Exploration Center and Nature Research Center. There are automatic doors on the second floor bridge that connects the two buildings. Visitors are cautioned there are currently no automatic doors on the third floor bridge that connects the two buildings.

Elevators operate between each level of the Nature Exploration Center and Nature Research Center.

Accessible Seating is available in the SECU Daily Planet Theater and WRAL 3D Theater for visitors using scooters or wheelchairs.

Accessible Restrooms are located in all public restrooms on every floor of the Nature Exploration Center and Nature Research Center.

VISITORS WITH YOUNG CHILDREN

Strollers are available to checkout for free at both Information Desks.

Baby Changing Stations are located in all public and single-use restrooms in the Nature Exploration Center. In the Nature Research Center, they are located on the first, second, and third floor women’s public restrooms and first floor men’s public restroom.

Nursing Room is located on the first floor of the Nature Exploration Center.

PRIVATE RESTROOMS

Single-Use Restrooms are located on the first and third floors of the Nature Exploration Center and first floor of the Nature Research Center.

Adult Changing Table is located on the 1st floor of the Nature Exploration Center.

SERVICE ANIMALS

The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences welcomes service animals as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): a dog or miniature horse (or one in training) that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability. Due to the presence of the Museum's animals, areas such as the Living Conservatory and Windows on the World are considered sensitive, and require extra caution for service animals. Pets, emotional support animals, comfort animals, or species other than a dog or miniature horse are not considered service animals under the ADA and are not allowed in the Museum.

To request a copy of our Service Animal Policy document, or if you have any questions, please contact accessibility@naturalsciences.org or 919.707.9976.

PRAIRIE RIDGE ECOSTATION

All facilities at Prairie Ridge are outdoors. With adequate notice (minimum 72 hours in advance of visit), staff will make reasonable accommodations in all programs to enable participation by an individual with a disability. For more information, please call 919.707.9887, Monday–Friday, 9 am–5 pm.

With adequate prior notification, Prairie Ridge staff will make every reasonable effort to accommodate individuals with mobility impairments wishing to use the trails.

Any “other power-driven mobility device” that an individual wishes to use must not cause damage to the trail surface and must be able to be safely operated for the volume of visitation currently at Prairie Ridge. For more information please contact Bonnie Eamick, Head of Prairie Ridge Ecostation, at 919.707.8880.


Staff