Skip to main content

Accessibility Services

We strive to maintain an accessible and inclusive environment for visitors of all abilities.

Symbol for Wheelchair Accessibility

The Festival is located on the National Mall outside the Smithsonian Metro station at Twelfth Street. Additional activities and demonstrations will take place on the Freer Plaza, and a variety of food trucks will be stationed in the USDA parking lot at Twelfth Street and Jefferson Drive SW.

Festival venues and activities are accessible via concrete sidewalks and/or packed gravel walkways. The Smithsonian Accessibility Map outlines accessibility features throughout the Smithsonian campus.

Accessible seating is available at the Main Stage. A limited number of wheelchairs and folding cane-chairs are available for loan each day at the Information / Volunteer Tent located directly across from the National Mall exit of the Smithsonian Metro station. Please note that if you regularly use a mobility device, particularly when traveling longer distances, we recommend that you bring it with you.

There are accessible portable toilets located throughout the Festival grounds (all toilets are gender neutral). Companion care/family restrooms are located in the Smithsonian’s Ripley Center, National Museum of American History, and the National Museum of Natural History located nearby.  There will be water bottle refilling stations throughout the Festival site.

Service animals are welcome, and a water station for service animals is available on the north side of the bar (located on the Freer Plaza).

Sign Language Interpretation Opened Captioning

American Sign Language interpreters and Real-Time Captioning will be provided for all Main Stage performances during the Festival. 

ASL interpretation services are available for select activities and demonstrations on the Freer Plaza. Additional ASL interpreting services may be requested and provided as available. Please visit the Information Tent for more information. See a list of all events with ASL interpretation and Real-Time Captioning services on the schedule.
Assistive Listening Systems

The Main Stage is equipped with an assistive listening system. Receivers may be obtained from a Festival volunteer or staff member or at the Information Tent. Assistive listening will also be available for some events located on the Freer Plaza.  See a list of all events with assistive listening devices available on the schedule.

Access for Individuals Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision

Sighted-guide and verbal description services are available for daytime programming upon request for visitors who are blind or low-vision.

The Festival is a location for the Aira Access mobile information and verbal description service. Visitors can download the free Aira app on a smartphone, and use the app to speak to an Aira agent using minutes provided courtesy of the Smithsonian. Visit Aira Access for more information, or download and read this Aira guide.
Braille Symbol Accessible Print

Large-print and Braille brochures are available at the Information / Volunteer Tent.

Information regarding these and additional accessibility services can be found at the Information / Volunteer Tent located directly across from the National Mall exit of the Smithsonian Metro station and will also be updated here throughout the Festival.

To request any other access services not mentioned above, please call the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage at (202) 633-6440 and request to speak with the accessibility coordinator, or email Diane Nutting at NuttingD@si.edu.


Support the Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, sustainability projects, educational outreach, and more.

.