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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 in Washington, D.C. Festival venues and activities are accessible via concrete sidewalks and/or packed gravel walkways. There are a limited number of accessible parking spaces available on a first-come, first-served basis on both Madison and Jefferson drives. These streets also provide the best options for drop-off and pick-up nearest the Festival site. The Smithsonian Accessibility Map outlines accessibility features throughout the Smithsonian campus.

Accessibility Information tents are adjacent to the Festival Information kiosks—located outside the Smithsonian Metro entrance and on the North side of the Folklife Studio venue.

Accessible seating is available at all performance venues. A limited number of wheelchairs and folding cane-chairs are available for loan each day at the Accessibility tents. Please note that if you regularly use a mobility device, particularly when traveling longer distances, we recommend that you bring it with you to the Mall.

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.

Sign Language Interpretation Opened Captioning

American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation and live, real-time captioning (CART) is available for select performances and presentations. Additional ASL interpreting services may be requested and are provided as available. Service schedules are available in the Accessibility tents.

All livestreamed programs will include ASL interpretation and live, real-time captioning (CART).

Assistive Listening Systems

All narrative stages, performance venues, and workshop spaces are equipped with Assistive Listening Systems. Receivers are available for check out at the Accessibility tents.

Audio Description Access for Individuals Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision

Live Audio Description is available for select events, and audio-described/touch tours of the Festival will be available. Audio Description will be transmitted via LiveVoice. We recommend that visitors download the LiveVoice app for free from Google Play or the App Store prior to arriving onsite. Specific event access codes will be made available closer to the Festival.

Sighted-guide services may be requested and are provided as available.

Recognizing the close proximity often required for an audio-described tour or sighted guide experience, please note that the Festival is a mask-friendly environment. Masks are available free of charge at the Accessibility tents.

Additionally, the Festival is a location for the Aira Access mobile information and verbal description service. Visitors can download the free Aira app on their smartphone and use the app to speak to an Aira agent using minutes provided courtesy of the Smithsonian (messaging and data rates may apply).

Braille Symbol Accessible Print

Large-print and Braille brochures are available at the Accessibility tents. Large-print and Braille menus are available at concession stands.

Sensory Friendly

Sensory maps of the Festival site—indicating high- and low-sensory areas of engagement—are available at the Accessibility tents. A full sensory guide is available online.

On weekends, the Festival hosts “Morning on the Mall” for individuals with autism, sensory sensitivities, or other cognitive disabilities who may benefit from a more quiet, relaxed, and supported environment. For more information, please call 202.633.2921 or email

Food allergen and dietary information for Festival concessions is available at the Accessibility tents and concession stands.

Information and service schedules will be updated on this page throughout the Festival.

For questions about other accessibility services not mentioned above, please email with the subject line “Festival Accessibility.”

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