Metropolitan Museum Celebrates 25th Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act - Hosting Special Events Honoring Creativity and Accessibility

In conjunction with the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), The Metropolitan Museum of Art will offer a variety of events for people with and without disabilities throughout the month of July. Programs will include film screenings, multisensory experiences, and guided museum tours. Together with regularly scheduled programming, these events emphasize the Museum’s commitment to include and involve people with disabilities on a regular basis. All programs are free or free with Museum admission and are open to all visitors.

Metropolitan Museum of Art Plaza, people walking

For decades, the Met has played a leadership role in the field of museum accessibility and remains at the forefront of innovation in this area. These initiatives empower people with disabilities to engage with art and create an inclusive environment that fosters artistic and social involvement.

Metropolitan Museum of Art Plaza

“We are very excited to host a variety of events celebrating the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act,” commented Sandra Jackson-Dumont, the Frederick P. and Sandra P. Rose Chairman of Education at the Metropolitan Museum. “It is integral to our mission to offer year-round programming that makes the Museum experience more accessible to, and inclusive of, visitors with disabilities. It is our hope that this celebration will foster greater awareness of accessible cultural experiences for people with disabilities.” 

Metropolitan Museum of Art Plaza, fountain

Highlights of the programming in honor of the ADA’s 25th anniversary include:  

  • Dog Days of Summer, a tour for guide dogs and their humans to discover dogs at work and play in paintings and sculpture,
  • Family Performance: Stories and Songs of the American West, a performance of 19th-century folk tales and songs in the exhibition Navigating the West: George Caleb Bingham and the River,
  • Film Screening: Do You Dream in Color?, an enlightening coming of age story that captures the inspired journeys of four blind teenagers as they strive to achieve their goals,
  • Discoveries: Creative Freedom, a workshop for children and adults with learning or developmental disabilities or autism spectrum disorders, and accompanying friends and family members, that includes a gallery tour and art activity, and
  • Gallery Talk: Intersections Between Art and Disability, an exploration of the complex relationship between social constructions of disability and imagery in art, and the impact of disability on artistic practice.

About the Metropolitan Museum’s Programs for Visitors with Disabilities  

The Metropolitan Museum of Art offers a wide variety of programs for visitors with disabilities throughout the year. Almost 7,000 people, from the ages of 5 to over 100, participate in roughly 400 Access programs at the Museum annually. Participants include visitors from New York City and the tristate area, as well as tourists from around the country and the world. 

Metropolitan Museum of Art Plaza

Visitors who are blind or partially sighted engage with art through verbal imaging and touch tours in the galleries, the Touch Collection (established in the 1970s), and a monthly drawing class. Together with family and friends, people with developmental and learning disabilities and those on the autism spectrum participate in Discoveries, workshops that include multisensory gallery experiences and art-making activities. In Met Escapes, individuals with dementia and their care partners explore the Museum’s collections through gallery tours, art–making, and handling sessions. Deaf educators regularly give gallery talks and art-making workshops in American Sign Language for the Deaf community. Sign language interpreters can also be requested for any program with advance notice.  

The museum also offers many accommodations including large print labels, wheelchairs, and assistive listening devices.  

Metropolitan Museum of Art Plaza, lots of strollers

About the Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act, signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H. W. Bush, is one of the nation’s most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation. It prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities and ensures that any American, regardless of disability, can experience the same opportunities as their peers and participate fully in the mainstream of American life. 

For more information on the Metropolitan Museum’s programs and resources for people with disabilities, as well as on accessibility in the Museum, visit  Metmuseumevents disabilities and Metmuseum accessibility.

ADA anniversary programming will be featured on the Museum’s website, as well as on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter via the hashtag #ADA25NYC


Metropolitan Museum of Art Plaza at night

Photos: Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

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