The Royal Academy welcomes disabled visitors, their families, friends and carers.
Our galleries are fully accessible and we have a wide range of facilities and programmes for disabled visitors. Whether you’re taking part in our programme of multi-sensory workshops, enjoying an audio described tour in the galleries or just popping in for a visit, we’ll do everything we can to make sure your experience of the RA is enjoyable, comfortable and memorable.
There is step-free access throughout the RA and wheelchairs and portable stools are available to borrow during your visit. Large print exhibition guides can be picked up within our gallery spaces and induction loops can be found at our information desks, RA shop and the Benjamin West Lecture Theatre. Assistance dogs are welcome and our staff and volunteers receive regular training to ensure they’re confident in welcoming disabled visitors.
The information about our building, facilities and programmes has been designed to help plan and get the most out of your visit.
Blind and partially sighted visitors
We welcome guide dogs.
Large-print exhibition guides are available within all our exhibitions. They’re also available to download from our website.
Audio guides are available for most of our exhibitions and available at the entrance to the galleries. They include a selection of audio described stops and are free of charge for blind and partially sighted visitors.
We have a regular programme of audio described tours and handling sessions to explore works on display in the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions. Sighted companions and guide dogs are welcome. These tours are free, booking is required.
Our trained Access and Community volunteers can provide one-to-one audio described tours of the exhibition, but please book this volunteer service two weeks in advance of your visit. You can book by calling 020 7300 5732 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Attendees listening to an audio described InTouch exhibition tour
Photo: Benedict Johnson photography
Wheelchair users and mobility impaired visitors
If you’re planning a visit and would like someone to assist you with a wheelchair or lend a supportive arm, then one of our Access and Community volunteers can assist you.
To book an escorted visit, contact the Access and Communities team on 020 7300 5732 or email email@example.com. Please allow two weeks notice for your booking as this is a volunteer-run service.
We run a programme of early-morning private views for wheelchair users and visitors with mobility impairments, where you can explore our exhibitions without the crowds, followed by coffee and conversation.
The following areas of the RA are fitted with hearing loops:
• Information desks
• Benjamin West Lecture Theatre
• RA Shop
We welcome hearing dogs.
For exhibitions that are accompanied by an audio guide, transcripts are available on request from the audio desk at the entrance of the exhibition.
Join our British Sign Language (BSL) exhibition tours and interpreted and speech-to-text transcribed talks to discover works on display in our Collection Gallery and temporary exhibitions. BSL-speaking hosts support these events.
Our visitor-facing staff are offered regular training in dementia awareness so that they’re confident in communicating and supporting visitors.
InMind is our programme of art sessions for visitors living with early to mid-stages of dementia and their carers, friends and family members. Each session is facilitated by artists and gallery educators and allows participants to choose between a discussion session focused on an artwork from the RA Collection or an art-making workshop.
Visitors exploring handling objects at an InMind session
Photo: Royal Academy of Arts
The RA supports and celebrates the practice of disabled artists and creative practitioners facing barriers to the art world.
InStudio is our programme of creative workshops designed for groups working with disabled adults or adults facing barriers to engaging with arts and culture. The workshops focus on a chosen RA exhibition and are led by two artist educators. Individuals within the group are supported to explore and respond to artworks within the gallery and then guided to create their own artworks, in response to themes and techniques shown in the exhibition. Each workshop is tailored to meet the access requirements and preferences of the group.
We welcome disabled artists to present and share their practice with others at our InPractice events. If you are a disabled artist or someone with a creative practice that faces barriers to accessing the art world and you’d like to share your work with others then please contact our Access and Communities team on 020 7300 5732 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Each event holds 10 spaces for artist presentations.
If you would prefer to watch the presentation, or to support and appreciate others then please come along.
We welcome students with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) for workshops during our programme of SEND Schools Weeks. These workshops are tailored to meet the requirements of each group and include multi-sensory exhibition tours, followed by handling and art-making sessions. Specially trained Access and Community volunteers support these workshops, which take place between 10.30am and 2pm.
This programme is supported by The Lord Leonard and Lady Estelle Wolfson Foundation.