Accessibility & Inclusion

Accessibility

The Air Zoo strives to be a safe and welcoming place for all people to experience the history and science of aviation and aerospace in a meaningful way, by reducing hardships wherever possible and providing necessary ADA accommodations.

Parking

Accessible parking spaces are located near the main entrance of both the Flight Innovation Center and the Flight Discovery Center. Vehicles parked in these locations must display a state issued disability license plate or placard. All parking at the Air Zoo is free.

Wheelchairs & Wagons

The Air Zoo retains a limited number of wheelchairs and wagons for guests use upon check-in, free of charge. Please see a Guest Experience Ambassador at the Ticket Counter or Membership Desk for details.

All galleries are wheelchair-, wagon-, and stroller-accessible.

The Missions Theater has limited accessibility space at the ground level entrance to the theatre. Limited companion seating is also available.

Restrooms

All Air Zoo restrooms are accessible to guests with disabilities. A private nursing/pumping room is located on the 2nd floor Mezzanine of the Flight Innovation center lobby.

Gender-neutral, single-stall restrooms are available in the Space Wing of the Flight Innovation Center.

Service dogs are welcome!

The Air Zoo follows the U.S. Department of Justice’s ADA requirements for service dogs. Dogs must be trained to provide assistance to a person with a disability. Emotional support animals are prohibited inside Air Zoo facilities, but are welcome in our outdoor spaces.

Visual Impairment

Several Air Zoo Docents are able to provide our visually impaired guests with immersive, hands-on, touch-tours. Please call ahead to confirm availability or to book your tour.


 

For Guests Who Have Sensory Processing Needs:


We have partnered with KultureCity to improve our ability to assist and accommodate guests with sensory needs. Our objective is to provide an inclusive and seamless experience for all of our guests in our museum, education programs and events. We strive to raise awareness of the needs and challenges faced by individuals with sensory processing disorders by supplying our Team Members with continuous training and by offering the resources and accommodations below to our guests.

Sensory Bags

Sensory bags containing special KCVIP badges, fidget tools, noise canceling headphones and other resources are available for checkout (at no cost) at our Ticketing Counter located in the Flight Innovation Center Lobby as well as the Fly Buy Museum Gift Shop counter.

Weighted Lap Pads

Weighted lap pads are also available upon request (at no cost) at our Ticketing Counter located in the Flight Innovation Center Lobby.

Social Story and KultureCity All-Inclusive App

Download the KultureCity All-Inclusive App below to get your social story to help you further with your visit to the Air Zoo.

App Store

Google Play


Celebrating Diversity & Driving Inclusion

We believe that everyone should be empowered to bring their complete, authentic selves to the Air Zoo. We strive to create an environment that reflects and connects to the communities we serve. We are unique.  We embrace challenges. We are driven to innovate, cultivate a can-do attitude, and never settle for the status quo. We approach our work fearlessly, learn quickly, improve constantly, learn from our failures, and celebrate our wins at every turn.

#OneSkyManyStars

Addressing our goals:

Short-term  establishing training opportunities for the entire organization. This initiative has lead to a better understanding and more welcoming vocabulary within our organization.  This training continues (started in 2017) with formal, informal and book discussions being regularly scheduled. Adding stories of women and people of color to our exhibit floor and website. Community based STEAM and museum access partnership programs implemented to strengthen economic accessibility and impact.

Mid-term  Air Zoo operations, exhibits, and guest experience teams are focused on creating safe, comfortable, inclusive opportunities for everyone in our community and beyond. Efforts include availability of wheelchairs, wagons, accessible parking, fully accessible restrooms and facilities and adapting exhibits to meet ADA standards.  We are registered with AIRA (for the visually impaired), have introduced a nursing room, are a chestfeeding/breastfeeding friendly workplace, and boast a new parent program (Baby at work program), to name a few.

Long-term  Incorporating multilingual signs, supporting video with audio description for the visually impaired, continuing to build on the stories of women and people of color.  Expanding our staff and board to better reflect our community, creating opportunities to constantly learn and grow.

Delivering on Our Commitment:

Exhibit Development:

The Air Zoo Exhibits and Collections Departments are committed to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA). We want our multigenerational audiences to see themselves reflected in our permanent and travelling exhibits, in the artifacts and archives we collect and display, and in the print and digital content we create.

Toward that essential goal, we turn to leading DEIA scholarship, attend diversity-driven trainings and conferences, and participate in groups and programs that help us better understand and apply DEIA best practices. In 2021, we took a good, hard look at our own reflection to evaluate just how we represent gender and race in our existing exhibits. Based on data collected, the Exhibits Department redesigned its exhibit development procedures to include sensitive thinking and bias checks that will expand representation in all directions.

The Air Zoo’s collections form the backbone of our exhibits. Our Collections Department is committed to collecting and telling the stories of all people, no matter their race, ethnicity, socio-economic status, or sexual orientation. While the fields of aviation and space stemmed from eras of exclusion, we are committed to break that mold and tell the important stories of those who were determined to defend their dreams of flying, maintaining aircraft, and managing intricate aviation systems. Some of our existing collections are heavily dominated by white male stories. We strive to continue to add to our collection artifacts and archives that diversify the stories of everyone.

Our shared commitment is demonstrated by the variety of diverse stories new to our exhibit floor. For example, through the addition of over 50 women’s stories in our Women in Air & Space Interactive Timeline and We Did It: The Riveting Real Rosies of WWII exhibits, we markedly increased our representation of women and people of color. We look forward to the opportunity to continue boldly and thoughtfully to widen the reflection of the rainbow of faces that comprise our Air Zoo community locally and globally.

Inclusive Programming

As a Smithsonian Affiliate, the Air Zoo has access to the Smithsonian Channel’s award-winning programming on popular topics such as air and space, history, science, nature, and pop culture. To make the stories we tell more inclusive, the Air Zoo presents programming that reflects the accomplishments of women, First Nations, people of color, LGBTQIA+, those with disabilities, and other aspects of our diverse local communities. These films may go beyond the scope of aviation, space, and science. 


Come visit us.