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A man in a wheel chair using a listening wand, while watching or reading the information in the JFK Exhibit

About Accessibility

The award-winning Accessibility Office at the Kennedy Center strives to make the cultural arts accessible to people with disabilities by removing barriers and providing opportunities. The Office focuses its efforts on accessibility services for patrons and visitors with disabilities; professional development for cultural administrators; and career opportunities in the arts for people with disabilities.

Within the walls of the Kennedy Center, the Access Office oversees architectural, communications, and program access for all events, performances, and programs. Going beyond mere compliance, the Office strives to make the Kennedy Center a performing arts center for everyone by initiating opportunities for employees, volunteers, artists, performers, and interns with disabilities; promoting the use of Universal Design in all renovations for full physical access; and providing assistive listening devices, sign language interpreters, captioning, audio description, and Braille and large print programs for events and activities at the Center.

Through the Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability (LEAD) program, the Accessibility Office encourages cultural arts venues around the nation and across the globe to make sustained, endemic steps toward accessibility. Over the years LEAD has grown into an international professional network focused on expanding the breadth and scope of accessibility services and programming across the country and around the world. LEAD accomplishes its objectives through an annual conference, an active communications network, and resources generated by the LEAD network and maintained by the Kennedy Center.

The Accessibility Office has received numerous awards and acknowledgements for work to promote the inclusion of people with disabilities in the arts, including the National Access Award from the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) and the Metlife Award for Innovation in Arts Access.

For more information about accessibility at the Kennedy Center, please contact us at (202) 416-8727 (voice), (202) 416-8728 (TTY) or access@kennedy-center.org.

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