Before your Visit
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The main entrance has a circle drive with three accessible parking spaces. All sidewalks are wheelchair accessible. Doors to enter the building have push button openers.
A parking ramp is located off Front street, south of the main entrance. Metered parking is also offered. Museum members and Kent County residents receive validated parking in the parking ramp. More parking is available through the City of Grand Rapids parking garages and lots.
Wheelchairs and Strollers
For Visitors Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision
The Museum provides Aira, an app-based verbal description service that connects people who are blind or have low vision to remote agents to guide them through the Museum.
Visitors can download the free app and use the service anywhere on the Museum’s property including the parking ramp.
Once connected to an Aira agent, the visitor will tell the agent what they want to do at the Museum and the agent will tell them how to get to space, read labels and and give descriptions of the surroundings.
For Visitors Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
The Museum now offers a hearing loop system in the Chaffee Planetarium. Those who are hard of hearing that visit the Planetarium have access to the audio through the individuals’ personal hearing device, utilizing the T-coil system, to receive clear, crisp audio without the need for any other device. Additionally 2 loop receivers with headphones are available for individuals requiring hearing assistance who do not have T-coil equipped hearing devices that will be available upon request.
The Museum offers standard hearing-assist devices with headphones in the Meijer Theater for public programs. The devices connect wirelessly to the theater’s audio and the volume can be turned up or down on the battery pack. Two are available by letting a staff member at the Theater know you would like one.
The Quiet Room
The GRPM’s Quiet Room is a small, private room, available for visitor use. This room is family friendly, and a space that allows for low sensory needs and for anyone who needs a private area to be away from crowds. This space is a great resource for breastfeeding mothers, individuals or families with special sensory needs, those in need of an area for changing an adult, and more. The room is able to be locked from this inside by the visitor using the space for additional privacy.
During your visit, ask any GRPM staff member if you need to use The Quiet Room.
The Museum has partnered with KultureCity to train team members to assist guests with sensory needs. Sensory tools such as noise-cancelling headphones, weighted lap pads and fidget spinners can be checked out at the front desk.
Guests who are sensitive to loud sounds should be aware of three areas in the Museum. The area near the front desk can get very noisy when the Museum is busy. To limit time spent in this area, purchase your tickets online. As you enter the Museum, there is an exhibit that makes a loud snapping sound every few seconds. Also, the large city hall clock on the third floor chimes loudly every hour and 15 minutes before every hour. The chime can be heard in all open areas of the Museum. A low sensory night is offered every year. Visit the front desk for details on this event.
Service dogs specially trained to assist a person with a disability are welcome at the Museum.
Museum classrooms offer physically accessible space conducive to learning.
- Tables provide appropriate clearance between the floor and the tabletop to accommodate learners with wheelchairs and can be arranged to allow for adequate aisle space.
- The furniture allows teachers to flexibly arrange the space to fit their needs, making the classroom more supportive of multiple learning formats such as whole class discussions or small group collaboration.
- White boards and projectors allow teachers to seamlessly apply technology-integrated instruction and best practices while at the Museum.
- Museum staff educators use universal design for learning guidelines in educational programming and strive to facilitate learning experiences where all learners can be successful.
The three main floors of the Museum are accessible by elevator.
The Museum has men and women restrooms on each floor with electronic door openers on each. Restrooms include diaper changing stations.