The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are committed to offering services that make its collections, exhibitions, and programs accessible to all visitors.
Patrons with disabilities that prevent them from visiting the de Young in person can now visit the museum remotely with the use of a computer with a camera and a Wi-Fi connection. The new Beam Tour program uses an ambulatory device known as Beam, provided to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco generously by its maker, Suitable Technologies, and allows for an independent and interactive experience. The device’s sensitive lenses allow the offsite visitor to see the art in high resolution, while its microphone, screen, and speakers enable interaction in real time with guides or friends in the museum. Learn more.
Visitor drop-off/pick-up is located on Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive Monday–Saturday. On Sundays and holidays when John F. Kennedy and Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive are closed, visitors with disability placards are still able to drop-off/pick-up at the entrance to the de Young.
Visitor drop-off/pick-up is also available in the parking garage (entrance at 10th Avenue and Fulton Street). If a visitor wishes to drop-off/pick-up in the parking garage the first 20 minutes are free of charge. Visitors can still utilize this service if the garage is full. There are 16 spaces for disability placards in the parking garage. Two of the parking spaces are for vans. The parking structure can accommodate vehicles that are up to 8’2” in height. The disability placard spaces are on the upper levels located near the museum’s lower level entrance.
Free accessible parking is available at several locations near the museum. Please use the PDF maps linked below for 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 from the information desk on the first level and at the lower level museum entrance. Wheelchairs cannot be reserved in advance.
Accessible on the first level and the lower level, the auditorium has a limited number of wheelchair companion seats on each level.
Assistive Listening Devices
Assistive listening devices, including neck loops, are available for use at no fee for all public programs and lectures in the Koret Auditiorum. You may request one from the AV booth in the auditorium. 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.
Real-Time Captioning (Opened Captioning)
Real-time captioning for lectures can be provided upon request. Requests for this service must be made three weeks before the date of the lecture; however, this accommodation is contingent upon the availability of captioners. To request real-time captioning, contact the Access Office (415) 750-7645 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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 tour players for the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions are free for visitors who are blind or partially sighted. Transcripts in regular and large print are also available.
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 all floors. Please refer to the visitor map for locations. The Kimball Education Gallery on the first floor offers a private family restroom in which a companion may assist you.
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 Advisors Open House and Disability Arts Festival is happening on March 14, 2015 at the de Young Museum. Call for entries for Art Slam 2015 will be going out in November. If you would like to receive information, please contact the Access Office (415) 750-7645 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Access Days happen once or twice during temporary exhibitions. Temporary exhibitions are open on select Mondays for entrance and tours for visitors with low-vision, ASL interpretation, and other accommodations are offered. Please check the museum calendar for upcoming dates.
Teacher and Art Lover Access Workshops are offered in conjunction with temporary exhibitions. Workshops include a tour through the exhibition and hands-on art-making exercises that be adapted to all skill levels for all classrooms. Priority is given to special education teachers and facilitators. Please check the museum calendar for upcoming dates.
Access Programs at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are generously supported by Hanson Bridgett.