Accessibility

The International Spy Museum is committed to providing a quality experience for all of our guests. The following provides information about a range of accommodations.

 

Travel Tips

Parking: For guests that require handicapped parking, the District of Columbia allows extended parking at any meter, along with specific "red-topped" handicapped parking meters (the closest red-topped meter is located on 10th Street, SW, south bound lane close to Independence Avenue). Metered parking is available on L'Enfant PlazaSW, near the Museum.  The Ace L'Enfant Plaza parking garage also has handicapped parking.

Metro: For wheelchair accessible access, exit the L’Enfant Plaza station using their Maryland Ave & 7th St SW exit, via the “elevator to street”, which brings you to the intersection of 7th & C Street. 

(Note: We do not recommend using Google Maps for an accessible route to the museum.) 

Turn left as you exit the Metrorail elevator, heading north towards Independence Avenue SW and the National Mall.

Turn left onto Independence Avenue SW. You will be heading west and walk past the Hirshhorn Museum and the Smithsonian Arts and Industries Building.

Turn left onto L’Enfant Plaza SW, heading south.

The Spy Museum will be on your left. 

Note: If you take this route you can also pick up the free Southwest Shuttle at its 7th street stop, directly across the street from the metro elevator you exit. Take the shuttle two stops to L’Enfant Plaza and you will get off across the street from SPY.  

Service Dogs

Service dogs are welcome. Spy Museum follows the US Department of Justice’s ADA requirements for service dogs. The dog must be trained to provide assistance to a person with a disability. Visitors are not permitted to bring emotional support animals into the Spy Museum.

Building Accessibility


The Museum is fully accessible for guests with mobility disabilities or in wheelchair:

  • Elevators provide access to all floors and exhibits.
  • All restrooms in the Museum complex are accessible. Family/companion restrooms are located on all Museum public floors.
  • Family/companion restrooms are open to all genders.
  • All theaters include wheelchair locations.

A limited number of manually operated wheelchairs may be borrowed at the Information Desk on a first-come, first-served basis. Guests are requested to leave a photo ID at the Information Desk while using Museum wheelchairs

There is limited seating throughout the Museum’s permanent exhibition.  Guests will find ample seating in our theaters located throughout the exhibition.

All visitors will be required to pass through a security check point at all Museum public entrances.  This may include a hand-check of bags and walking through a metal detector.  Those unable to walk through the metal detector will be hand-screened with an electronic security wand by authorized personnel.

The International Spy Museum has a couple of exhibits that include loud noises, changing light levels, and some interactives that require physical endurance and omit a small electric shock (warning labels are posted).

While there is no eating or drinking allowed in the exhibition, guests with medical conditions requiring food are permitted to eat in the exhibition restroom hallways. 

 

For Guests Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision


There are several tactile objects and experiences along with audio components in the Museum permanent exhibition and Lobby.  Large print floor plans that include tactile objects and audio components are available upon request at the Lobby Ticketing and Information Desks.

A complimentary 90 minute staff-led audio-described Museum exhibition tour with tactile opportunities is available upon request. The audio-described tour is included with the Museum admission price and is recommended for parties of 5 or fewer. Please call 202.654.0991 or fill out a request form at least seven (7) days prior to visit to reserve. We greatly appreciate advance notice. Access the Museum's Master Script.

 

For Guests Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing


All media presentations are open captioned. Assistive listening devices are available upon request for the Public Program Theater space.

Sign language and oral interpreter services is available for public programs with seven (7) days advance notice. Please call 202.654.0991.

 

For Guests With Sensory Sensitivities

Autism logo
The International Spy Museum has a number of exhibits that include loud noises and changing light levels.  In order to make some of these “surprises” more predictable, have created several resources that can be used before and during your visit:

If a guest is sensitive to sound, consider bringing noise-cancelling headphones or earplugs.  For a quieter or less-crowded visit, we recommend visiting during shoulder hours (early or later) or on a weekday in the off-season (September through February).

Watch the SPY Know Before You Go video to prepare for your visit.

Here are some more resources that will help you plan for a successful Museum experience:

For a quieter or less-crowded visit, we recommend visiting during shoulder hours (early or later) or on a weekday in the off-season (September through February).

Sensory backpacks are available for free at the front desk (while supplies last); just ask a staff member at the ticketing counter for one. Each backpack contains 1 sensory map, 1 visual schedule, 1 fidget and 1 stress ball. A limited number of noise-cancelling headphones (both adult and youth sizes) are available to borrow on a first-come, first-served basis. Please ask a staff member at the ticketing counter for a pair. Guests are requested to leave a photo ID at the ticketing counter while using Museum headphones.

For Guests Who Have PTSD and Photosensitivity Related Needs

The International Spy Museum has a number of spaces that include sudden, loud noises and changing light levels. For guests who would like advanced warning before entering these spaces, or would rather avoid them, please refer to SPY’s Sensory Map. This map identifies areas of sudden changes in noise and light levels. If you are unsure of how to navigate the Museum without entering the identified spaces, such as the main elevators, speak with a member of our Guest Services team.

A limited number of noise-cancelling headphones (both adult and youth sizes) are available to borrow on a first-come, first-served basis. Please ask a staff member at the ticketing counter for a pair. Guests are requested to leave a photo ID at the ticketing counter while using Museum headphones.