Accessibility at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum
The Kalamazoo Valley Museum is a local community museum. We desire to embrace what makes Kalamazoo and Southwest Michigan unique by focusing on our diverse population and including all members of the community in our exhibits and programs.
General Visit Information
All exhibits and programs, the Theater, and the planetarium are wheelchair accessible. Limited wheelchairs are available for use while visiting the Museum. An adjustable ADA-compliant lectern is available for speakers.
There is a pull-in section for our visitors with mobility concerns to be dropped off in front of the Museum. Please move your vehicle once your family and friends are safely in the Museum. We can offer staff assistance if needed. Call the front desk for assistance at (269) 373-7979.
Parking is available in the Arcadia Ramp located at the corner of Eleanor and Rose Street. It is managed by Ellis Parking Company, (616) 458-1179. Rates: $1.75/1st hour, $1.00/30 minutes after, $10/daily max, weekend and evening parking (after 5:00 p.m.) $5 flat rate. Parking regulations will be enforced on a daily basis. Vehicles left overnight will be charged an additional day.
Parking meters and bus parking are managed by Central City Parking, (269) 342-6383. Street meters are $1.75/hour. Meter street parking regulations are enforced weekdays and are free after 5:00 p.m. and all day Saturday, Sunday, and holidays. Use your smartphone to pay for parking with the Parkmobile App (free app).
The Museum has floor maps available in both English and Spanish. 3D tactile maps are coming soon!
Strollers and Wagons
Strollers and wagons are permitted in the Museum. For the safety and accessibility of others, please do not leave your stroller or wagon unattended. Museum is not responsible for left property and is unable to watch property behind desk.
Food in the Museum
Food and drink are allowed only on the first floor of the Museum to limit attracting pests and for the protection of our collections and exhibits. Please finish and dispose of all beverages and food before leaving the first floor. Unfinished food and beverages can be stored at the front desk while you tour the rest of the Museum. Lunches may also be enjoyed in the Arcadia Festival Site playground located behind the Museum.
Elevator and Stairs
The elevator is located across from the first floor stairs. Please reserve elevator use for those with strollers, wheelchairs, and mobility concerns.
Emergency Exit Assistance
Do not use the elevator in the case of a fire emergency. Staff can assist you with wheelchair-accessible evacuations. In case of a fire, please exit the building and gather your family on the other side of the street. Maps are located throughout the Museum identifying emergency gathering locations in case of a tornado.
All bathrooms are wheelchair accessible. All bathrooms contain diaper changing pull-down tables. Bathrooms are located on the first floor behind the Time Pieces wall display and on the second floor in the Innovation Gallery.
Lockers are on the first floor across from the elevator and are operated by a $.50 returnable key system. See the front desk staff if you need assistance or change for bills.
Accessibility for Guests with Low Hearing and Vision Impairments
Gallery entrance signs and the mummy exhibit have permanent signage in braille. The Museum is filled with hands-on exhibits ready for all to explore. Ask about our low-vision tactile tours and the option to schedule a sign language interpreter with two weeks' advance notice. Many of our videos have closed-caption options in English. Assisted listening devices and T-loop assistance are available in the planetarium.
Accessibility for Visitors with Autism
The Museum provides sensory tools kits (fidget, weighted snake, calming activity cards, and noise cancelling headphones) at the front desk. Wiggle cushions, noise cancelling headphones, resistance bands, and a variety of lap and hand-held fidgets are available for use in the planetarium and Theater.
A Museum social story guide is available on our website. It is a thumbnail version of our social story, with explanations and hints for parents. The social story is a guided tour of our exhibits and galleries to prepare children for their visit. Individual pages can be printed to create your own visit.
During our hands-on programs, a quiet space is set aside for children with sensory sensitivities to work on their crafts. Ask our floor staff for exhibits that tend to be quiet and additional assistance if needed. Families may also want to set goals for their visit. A goal sheet and reward stickers are available at the front desk for all visitors.
Ask about the Sensory Saturday series. Alternating informational lectures and family days take place the third Saturday of the month from September to April. Hear lectures and ask questions from Center for Autism and Related Disorders professionals. Family days will include a performance in our Theater, low-volume planetarium shows at 12 and 1 p.m., interactive Circle Times from 1 to 3 p.m., and hands-on crafts from 1 to 4 p.m. We will continue to develop materials to help your visit be successful. Please let us know what works and what additional suggestions you may have.
Service dogs and miniature ponies trained to perform specific tasks for an individual with a disability are allowed in all public areas. Service animals are required to be under their owner’s control at all times, wearing a leash or harness, and clearly identified as a service animal.