The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are committed to offering services that make its collections, exhibitions, and programs accessible to all visitors. Programs and visiting options for individuals with disabilities as well as other underserved populations in the community are crucial for creating equity in access to the arts. All Access Programs are complimentary or provided at a low-cost for the disability and underserved community. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or need additional information not provided below.
There are six disability placard spaces in front of the museum, two located by the Terrace Entrance, and two located by the staff entrance and loading dock. Visitors needing to avoid the long ramp to the front entrance may use the Terrance Entrance to the right of the building. The entrance is at the top of the driveway. Please ring the doorbell and wait for security.
Free accessible parking is available at several locations near the museum. Please use this map (PDF, 55KB) as a reference.
Trained service animals such as guide dogs are permitted to assist museum visitors.
The museum is accessible to wheelchair users. All museum entrances are accessible. Wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the front entrance and in the coat check. Wheelchairs cannot be reserved in advance.
Gunn Theater is accessible via the lower level. Please ask staff to assist you.
Assistive Listening Devices
Assistive listening devices, including neck loops, are available for use at no fee for all public programs and lectures in the Gunn Theater. You may request one from the AV staff. Neck loops are available for audio tours of the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions. You may request one from the Antenna Audio staff.
Most videos for temporary exhibitions are closed-captioned.
ASL interpretation is provided at no fee for all public programs, lectures, and tours. Please contact the access office at least two weeks in advance of your visit. To request ASL interpretation, contact the access office (415) 750-7645 or e-mail email@example.com
Copies of temporary exhibition labels are available in large print at the beginning of exhibitions. For brochures or other materials in Braille, please contact the access office at least two weeks in advance of your visit (415) 750-7645 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Audio tours for most temporary, special exhibitions at both museums are available at exhibition entrances. Audio Tours of highlights from the permanent collection are available near the Information Desk and include a Visual Access Tour option that provides a highly detailed visual description of each object on the tour. Transcripts of the Highlights Audio Guide Tours from the permanent collection and of the special temporary exhibitions are available at the audio guide kiosks.
Wheelchair-accessible public telephones, as well as telephones with volume control, are located in the museum. Please reference the visitor map for locations.
Fully accessible restrooms are indicated by signs and located on the lower level. Please refer to the visitor map for the location.
Lighting in certain galleries is dimmed to protect the art.
Request for Accommodation
If you’d like to request an accommodation or a custom tour in advance of your visit, please contact the access office (415) 750-7645 or e-mail email@example.com
Museum Tours and Programs
Free Private Tours
You are welcome to request a private tour on a topic of your choice. All tours are custom-designed to meet your needs and interests. Private tours must be arranged four weeks prior to the date of your visit.
Visitors who are blind or have low vision may request an individual guided tour. The tours include three-dimensional objects you can touch as well as paintings to explore through verbal description.
During “touch tours,” the visitors examine pre-selected works of sculpture and decorative arts. Our curatorial staff has approved specific objects in the permanent collection for touching.
Visitors using wheelchairs may arrange individual or small group tours.
Visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing may arrange individual or small group tours. The museum provides two types of services: an ASL interpreter can be requested free of charge for any private tour and there are tours led in ASL in conjunction with temporary exhibitions.
Visitors who have memory loss may attend Artful Discoveries, a monthly program held in the galleries for individuals living with dementia and their care partners. Please check the calendar for upcoming dates.
Access Community Programs
Access Days allow visitors an opportunity to visit special exhibitions on select Mondays when the Museums are closed to the public. The goal is to have an Access Day occur once during each special exhibit. Docent tours for visitors with low-vision, who are Deaf and communicate via American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation, and other accommodations are offered. Access Day patrons from the disability and underserved communities can also self guide and benefit from additional seating in the galleries, a less crowded experience, the availability of large print labels, the use of wheelchairs and sturdy stools, a fragrance free environment and additional accessible blue zone parking spaces. Please check the museum calendar for upcoming dates.
American Sign Language (ASL) Tours/Tours with ASL Interpretation
ASL Tours (formally DEAF Media Docents at FAMSF) have been offered for the Deaf community at the Museums since the 1980s. Deaf docents and Deaf guest docents lead tours through special exhibitions in American Sign Language after participating in an intensive three hour annual docent training and studying with FAMSF docents, who mentor through an exhibition learning tour.
Artful Discoveries is a program for individuals with early-stage dementia and their family members or care partners. The interactive in-gallery program provides an opportunity for participants and their care partners to join others in a discussion and multisensory exploration of art. The program is presented in partnership with the Northern California and Northern Nevada Alzheimer’s Association.
Low Vision and Touch Tours
This is a program for people with low vision or who are blind by providing highly descriptiveand/or touch tour by specially trained docents.
Memory Café Tours
Memory Café is a tour designed for the dementia support group “Memory Café” and is modeled after the Artful Discoveries Tours for people with early stage dementia and Alzheimer's.
Memory Making Social Outing Tours
This program is a spin off from the original Artful Discoveries Tour model, which is a tailored tour for Cantonese speaking Chinese-Americans with mid-stage dementia.
Private Docent Led Tours
Private Docent Led Access Tours provided patrons with disabilities the ability to visit the de Young Museum at a time that is convenient for them. The program entails coordinating a tour conducted by an access docent, specifically trained in working with visitors with disabilities or from underserved populations.
Private Self Guided Access Tours
Tours are the same as the above.
Senior Center Without Walls Tours
This program was developed in 2017 for seniors unable to leave the home or use the computer, where seniors can call in and listen to highly descriptive tours while looking at hard copy images mailed to them prior to the remote tour.
TAM on the Go Tours
This program is designed for Senior Access of Marin and is modeled after the Artful Discoveries Tours. In FY 2017/18, we have hosted one tour to pilot the program and have 5 more tours planned for the remainder of this FY.
Veteran’s Personal Response Tours
This program was launched in March 2017 providing a specialized tour once a month, during which Veterans select a work of art that interests them, based on a theme, and they discuss the emotions it produces with other Veterans in the tour group.
Other Access Information
Access Advisory Board
The Access Advisors is comprised of fourteen members who have disabilities, who work in the disability field, or who have a family member with a disability. They work with the FAMSF, most closely with the Access Coordinator, Karen Berniker, to help make the museums more accessible both to persons with disabilities and to people who do not consider themselves as having a disability, but have vision, mobility, hearing, or stamina issues among others. The goal of the AA is to assist the museums to be as usable and disability friendly to these visitors if they come independently, and also for the museums to provide specialized services to our visitors upon request. This group was formed in 1988, and they are in its 29th year of service at the museums. In 2017 subcommittees were created in an effort to leverage the AA expertise and maximize impact more quickly.
Access Advisory Subcommittees
The Access Advisors made a decision in 2017 to expand, but remain a relatively small, active group that facilitates program expansion. In order to become more efficient at specific tasks, the AA Board continued with the Deaf Community Subcommittee and formed four additional sub-committees; a Strategic Planning Subcommittee tasked with identifying short and long term goals with target dates that provides a roadmap for program development; the Nominating and Orientation Subcommittee charged with recruiting and orienting new members, an Outreach Subcommittee tasked with expanding reach in the Disability and Underserved Communities and an Access Subcommittee in an effort to identify and address physical and programmatic access as it relates to specific disability groups.
Legion of Honor
100 34th Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94121
Access Programs at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are generously supported by the de Youngsters, Mrs. Susan Hyde Greene and Mr. James B. Greene, Jr., Hanson Bridgett, and Dr. Susan Rutherford.