Accessibility

Cleaning and Safety

We have instituted many measures that abide by the scientific evidence for best health standards including enhanced cleaning protocols, one-way directional flow where appropriate, and reduced occupancy within the Museum to allow for safe distancing, and requiring masks for all visitors, ages two and up, and all staff.

Assistive listening devices, scooters and wheelchairs are still available and subject to enhanced cleaning procedures.

The audio labels have been removed from exhibits as part of our health and safety measures. In their place, the Museum of Science has become an AIRA access site. The AIRA service is free of charge and provides real time information to blind and low- vision visitors by connecting to a live agent via smartphone who, using the view from the smart phone’s rear facing camera, describes the surroundings reads text aloud. Learn more at aira.io

Looking for Some of Your Favorite Experiences?

Our Exhibits team has thoroughly reviewed every exhibit component throughout the entire Museum to assess its safety and risk for transmission. As a result, some exhibits and venues have been modified for your safety, while others, such as the Discovery Center, have closed. Venues such as the Omni, 4-D Theater, and a few other key spaces are temporarily closed while the Museum moves forward with Phase 3 of reopening. We’ll update our site with any new information.

Features for All Visitors

The Museum of Science offers a wealth of accessibility features for all of our visitors. Look here for parking and public transportation options, additional services such as sighted guide tours, ASL interpreters, and a list of accessible offerings throughout the Museum.

A Place for Everyone

The vision of the Museum of Science is one where everyone can participate equally in the excitement of science and technology learning. Barriers to access, whether caused by finances, culture, language, education, or ability, can inhibit exploration. The Museum is intent on breaking down these barriers while creating relationships with new audiences.

Please note that requests for interpreters and sighted guides should be made at least two weeks prior to your visit.

Service Animal Policy

Service animals are welcome at the Museum of Science. Service animals, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, are dogs trained to do work or perform specific tasks for a guest with a disability. Other animals are not allowed in order to protect the health and safety of the animals in the Museum’s care.

Learn More

Please contact our Science Central team regarding any questions or concerns regarding accessibility for visitors with disabilities.

Transportation

Parking and Entrance

  • Visitor drop-off and pickup is allowed at the Museum's main entrance.
  • There is one automated doorway (enter from the front plaza).
  • Paid parking is available in the Museum garage.
  • On each level, spaces near the elevator are designated for visitors with disabilities.
  • Parking is sometimes allowed in the Museum driveway when designated spots in the garage are occupied.
  • The ground level of the garage has a height clearance of 13’ 9”. Ramps to upper levels have a clearance of 7’ 4”.

Public Transportation

  • The Science Park and Lechmere stations are currently closed.
  • For more information about public transportation access, call the MBTA's Customer Support Line at 617-222-3200 or visit the MBTA's accessible services page.

Additional Services

 

Assistive Listening System

The Museum of Science is equipped with an assistive listening system to assist visitors with hearing loss. This system amplifies the presentations at all of the Museum’s stages and theaters. Visitors can borrow a receiver and headset, or neck loop, at the Information Desk in the lobby. Equipment must be signed out.

The receivers work in the following locations:

  • Mugar Omni Theater
  • Charles Hayden Planetarium
  • Cahners Theater
  • Shapiro Family Science Live! Stage
  • Gordon Current Science & Technology Center Stage
  • Theater of Electricity

If you have questions, or would like more information about this system, please contact us at accessibility@mos.org or 617-723-2500.

 

AIRA Access Site

The Museum of Science is an AIRA access site. Visitors who are blind or low-vision can download the AIRA app free of charge onto a smart phone. The AIRA app uses the phone’s camera to take in the user’s surroundings, and a live AIRA agent will describe the environment, including reading of exhibit labels and instructions. This service is free of charge on the Museum premises. Learn more at aira.io.

 

Sighted Guide Tours

Museum personnel trained as sighted guides are available to enhance the Museum experience of visitors who are blind or low-vision.

For reservations, please call 617-723-2500 two weeks in advance.

 

Narrative Description of the Building Layout

This document provides a description of the physical layout of the Museum of Science. It is intended to assist visitors who are blind or low vision with navigation. It may also be useful to anyone wishing to get an overall sense of the building prior to visiting. The document can be viewed or downloaded here. A Braille copy of this document can be borrowed from the Information Desk, as well.

 

ASL Interpreters/CART reporting

ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation and CART (Computer Aided Realtime Transcription) are two ways to make live spoken content accessible to visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing. These services can be arranged with at least two weeks' notice, based on availability. Please call 617-723-2500.

 

Parking

The Museum's on-site garage provides hourly parking for approximately 850 cars on a first-come, first-served basis. Museum members receive a discount. Parking is available for visitors with disabilities. Height clearance for the entrance level of the garage is 13’ 9”. Clearance to access floors above the entrance level is 7'4". The entrance level of the garage can accommodate wheelchair lift vans. The garage has an elevator.

 

Food and Beverage

As part of the Museum of Science's commitment to environmental sustainability, single use plastic straws are no longer dispensed in the Riverview Café. The Museum of Science also recognizes that straws are necessary for some individuals, and straws will always be available, upon request, from any Café staff member.

For allergen information or questions regarding menu items in the Riverview Café, please contact our café managers: 617 589-3180, wpc@mos.org

 

Mugar Omni Theater

The following options are available for select IMAX films:

  • Captioning
  • Amplified narration
  • Audio description

Receivers and headsets for assistive listening (amplified audio) and audio description (for visitors who are blind or low-vision) are available at the Information Desk in the lobby. A form of ID must be provided to borrow equipment. Reflectors for captioning are available from ushers at the theater entrance 15 minutes before showtime. For quicker service, make a request at the Museum box office when purchasing or picking up tickets. Wheelchair accessible seating is located at the top of the theater.

View schedule and buy tickets

 

Planetarium

An assistive listening (amplified audio) system is available for all shows. The receivers and headsets are available at the Information Desk in the lobby. Scripts are available for select shows. Captioning is available for pre-recorded (not live) shows. Please request a caption device from a Planetarium staff member. Planetarium staff will also provide Braille constellation maps and tactile pictures on request. Wheelchair accessible seating is located throughout the Planetarium. American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation can be arranged with a minimum of two weeks’ notice, based on availability. Please contact us at 617-723-2500 or accessibility@mos.org to arrange an ASL interpreter.

Check the Planetarium schedule for “Soft Lights, Soft Sound” offerings.

View schedule and buy tickets

 

Visitor Guide

Available in the Museum lobby, the map / guide (PDF) contains a floor plan. A version of this guide is also available in several foreign languages and at the Information Desk.

 

Mobility

The Museum has ten adult-sized manual wheelchairs, two pediatric wheelchairs, two bariatric wheelchairs, seven strollers, and five electric scooters (must be 18+ to operate an electric scooter) that guests may borrow for free. They are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

To sign out a wheelchair, stroller, or scooter, please speak to an information specialist at the Information Desk in the lobby.

 

Medical and Emergency Assistance

Contact a staff member at the Information Desk.

 

Portable Defibrillators

Several defibrillators are located throughout the Museum of Science. Security personnel have been trained in their use.

Tips for Visitors with Developmental Disabilities/Autism Spectrum/Neurological Disorders or Sensory Concerns

The Museum of Science strives to provide a comfortable and enjoyable experience for all visitors. We understand that visitors with neurological conditions and/or sensory processing issues can find busy public places especially challenging. The Museum can provide assistance with pre-visit planning, including information and suggestions tailored to an individual’s needs.

 

Accessibility Coordinator

  • The Museum of Science has an Accessibility Coordinator in place to assist visitors with questions regarding accessibility for those with disabilities. Please call 617-723-2500 or email accessibility@mos.org.
  • The Accessibility Coordinator can also assist in planning a visit around individual interests or specific needs.

 

Quieter Times to Visit

  • Saturday and Sunday mornings from 9:00 – 11:00 am and weekday afternoons after 2:00 pm (during school year) are often less busy, quieter times to visit.
  • September is usually a less busy, quieter time of year to visit.
  • Visitation will vary depending on holidays, school vacations, weather, and other factors. Please contact us for assistance at 617-723-2500 or accessibility@mos.org.

 

Restrooms

  • Accessible restrooms located throughout the building (Box Office Concourse, Blue Wing Level 1, Green Wing Level 2, Red Wing Lower Level and Level 1).
  • Accessible Family Restroom located on Level 2 of the Green Wing.
  • Less frequented restrooms are located on the Red Wing Mezzanine Level (Near the Omni Theater exits).
  • Sensory-Friendly Restrooms: all Blue Wing restrooms DO NOT have hand dryers or auto flush mechanisms. The Family Restroom DOES NOT have auto flush and has a paper towel dispenser as an alternative to a hand dryer.
  • Automatic hand dryers have been disconnected throughout the building as part of the Museum’s response to COVID-19.

 

Sensory Concerns

  • Light, noise, and crowds vary widely throughout the building.
  • The Omni Theater, the 4-D Theater, the Planetarium, and the Theater of Electricity are attractions that provide a large amount of sensory stimulation.
  • Consider bringing noise reducing headphones.
  • If a member of your group has sensory concerns and you would like more information, please contact us at 617-723-2500 or accessibility@mos.org.
  • Check the Planetarium schedule for “Soft Lights, Soft Sound” offerings. View schedule and buy tickets

 

Quieter Places and Exhibits

  • There are quieter places and exhibits throughout the Museum.
  • These can vary depending on the time of day, time of year, and show schedules.
  • Transportation and Living on the Edge, both located on the Lower Level of the Blue Wing, tend to be quieter.
  • Contact the us at 617-723-2500 or accessibility@mos.org for current information.

 

Membership

  • Allows unlimited visits for a year
  • Good option for families where members have limited stamina. Stay for 15 minutes or 5 hours — whatever works that day — without worrying about waste.