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Museum Accessibility and Access and Inclusive Programs

Crystal Bridges is committed to making the museum accessible for all visitors. Please note that our efforts to make our website, programs, and museum more accessible are ongoing. If you encounter any accessibility concerns, please contact us.

Museum Accommodations

Museum Accommodations

Crystal Bridges offers a number of on-site accommodations for guests with disabilities in order to assure an enjoyable and engaging experience at the museum. Below is a list of amenities available. If you have questions, please contact us.


All interior spaces of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art—including galleries, classrooms, meeting rooms, restaurant, Museum Store, library, and lobby—are fully wheelchair accessible. The parking garage offers accessible parking on the lower level.

Wheelchair and family-accessible restrooms and elevators are located throughout the museum.

Wheelchairs and walkers are available on a first-come, first-served basis at no cost and are located at Guest Services in the main lobby, in the elevator towers, and in the lower lobby checkroom. Personal wheelchairs, canes with rubber tips, and motorized mobility devices are also permitted in the museum.

The Orchard Trail, Art Trail and North Forest Trail are all hard-surface trails. See the Crystal Bridges app for accessible tours of our grounds.

Service Animals

Service animals are welcome in the museum. Crystal Bridges abides by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and allows service animals, that is, animals trained to do work or perform specific tasks for the benefit of an individual with disabilities, into all the public areas of the museum. The ADA does not currently recognize emotional support animals, therefore emotional support animals and all other animals not specifically covered in the American with Disabilities Act will not be permitted within the museum. Other leashed pets must remain outside the building, which includes Walker Landing, but are welcome on museum trails and grounds.


Because Crystal Bridges has many large windows that admit daylight, the light levels in the museum can vary considerably between galleries and connecting reflection spaces. Guests with light sensitivity may choose to visit on cloudy days or in the evening when these contrasts are not so pronounced.

When there are exhibitions featuring artworks with flashing lights, signage notifying visitors of where these lights are located will be available. Additionally, Buckyball by Leo Villareal is a sculpture located on the drive into the museum with lights that change colors in the evening.

Assistive Listening Devices

Assistive Listening Devices are available on a first-come, first-served basis for those participating in lectures or other events in the Great Hall. For all other programs or tours, they are available by request.

Sign Language Interpretation

American Sign Language interpretation is provided for Collection Highlights tours on the third Saturday of each month from 2 pm – 3 pm. Sign Language interpretation for all other programs and tours is offered upon request with advanced notice based on availability. Please contact us.

Access for Guests Who are Blind or Have Low Vision

Free audio tours, which include audio label text and verbal description for selected artworks from the museum’s permanent collection, are available for download on Android or Apple devices. Devices pre-loaded with the audio tours, to use during your visit to the museum, are available for check-out from Guest Services at no cost.

Free tactile and multisensory tours of the museum are offered upon request with advanced notice based on availability. To schedule a tour, please contact us.

EnChroma Glasses for Colorblindness

EnChroma colorblind glasses are available for guests who are colorblind to use at no cost during their museum visit. The museum can provide glasses for indoor and outdoor viewing in adult and youth sizes, and there are also fit-over glasses available for guests who wear regular glasses.

These glasses are available for check-out at the Guest Services desks in the main, north, and south lobbies. To check-out, please present a form of ID to leave at the Guest Services desk while you use the glasses during your museum visit.

Digital Resources

Access Programs

Access Programs

Crystal Bridges works with a number of organizations to develop programs for and with individuals with disabilities. Below is a brief listing of our current offerings. If you have questions about any of our Access and Inclusive Programs, or would like to make a suggestion, please contact us.

For Families

Family Access Night is a fun night out for families with children of all abilities to visit the museum. Youth with disabilities, siblings, and parents participate in engaging activities including gallery tours, studio art activities, and performances. The event is free, but pre-registration is encouraged.

Play with Passion is a program organized through the Bentonville Schools. Once a month, the program visits a different site to promote activities for youth with disabilities. Crystal Bridges partners with Play with Passion to offer fun outdoor art and activity stations inspired by nature.

For Adults

Life Styles is a non-profit organization that provides supported employment, living, and educational opportunities for adults with disabilities. Once a month, Crystal Bridges collaborates with Launch—a Life Styles program designed as a college-equivalent program for young adults with disabilities. Launch students visit the museum with their Effective Communications class for a facilitated discussion in the galleries and an artmaking session in the studio. Learn more about participant experiences with Life Styles.

“I love everything I learned here because I love learning about the art history and the artists and it inspires me every day to learn about art. It inspires me to do art. I do a lot of artwork and I love art. Maybe one day my art will be in Crystal Bridges.”
—Life Styles participant

Open Avenues is a work center for adults with disabilities. Museum Educators visit the center once a month for hands-on art activities. The program provides an opportunity for Open Avenues’ clients to creatively express themselves during the work day and to learn about the museum’s collection, programs, and exhibitions.

Sensory Exploration Kits are artmaking kits specially designed to connect seniors living in assisted living facilities and at home through memories from the past using sensory materials, guided virtual gallery conversations, and activities related to collection artworks.

For Youth with Autism

Camp Connect at Crystal Bridges is a summer day-camp for children with autism and peer mentors, presented in collaboration with Project Connect at the University of Arkansas. The camp features fun activities for children to engage with artwork in the museum while making connections with other children. The program is free, but advanced-registration is required.

ArtShare is a program for families who have youth with autism, allowing families to participate in hands-on activities and explore the galleries in a quiet atmosphere. The program is free, but pre-registration is encouraged.

“My daughter enjoyed herself [at ArtShare] tremendously, the happiness was evident on the faces of all the participants and their families, and I must admit each and every aspect was a wonderful joy for myself as well. I only wish it could have lasted a little longer.”
—ArtShare participant

For Individuals with Alzheimer’s or Dementia

Creative Connections is a program for individuals living with early-stage Alzheimer’s or dementia and their care partners. Museum Educators facilitate interactive discussions of artworks in the galleries and lead hands-on art activities in the studio. No prior art experience required. Refreshments and art materials are provided. The program is presented in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association and Schmieding Center for Senior Health and Education. The program is free, but registration is required. Register by email or contact the Alzheimer’s Association at 1 (800) 272-3900 ext. 8360. Learn more about participant experiences with Creative Connections.

“Had it not been for Creative Connections, we probably still wouldn’t be in a support group. We avoided support groups for three years, thinking we were not ready. Creative Connections sounded more like fun and fellowship. It was that and more. Participating in Creative Connections has certainly proven to be one of our best decisions. I cannot say either of us is a better artist, but we know that our new network of friends has our back.”
—Creative Connections participant

For Individuals who are Blind or have Low Vision

Multisensory Saturday is a program in the galleries for visitors with all levels of sight featuring multisensory explorations of select artworks in the museum’s collections.

Free tactile and multisensory tours of the museum are offered upon request with advanced notice based on availability. To schedule a tour, please contact us.

The museum has collaborated with Arkansas Council of the Blind to develop tactile and multisensory programs during their annual conference.

To learn more about participant experiences with the Arkansas Council of the Blind collaboration, visit the Multisensory Tours at the Museum page.

Professional Development Workshops

Crystal Bridges has collaborated with organizations to provide professional development, including Arkansas Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (ARID) and NWA Premier Counseling.

Advisory Groups

The Community Accessibility Advisory Committee consists of a small group of individuals with and without disabilities who are advocates for inclusion in Northwest Arkansas. These individuals offer their experience and expertise to help review and refine inclusive practices at the museum relating to programs, services, activities, and employment. Participants include representatives from the Northwest Arkansas Association of the Deaf, the Arkansas Council of the Blind, LifeStyles, 99 Balloons, Sources, Partners for Inclusive Communities, the ALS Association and participants from our Creative Connections program.

The Autism Programming Advisory Group includes experts in the field of autism spectrum disorders—including academics, therapists, and parents— who meet with the museum and area arts organizations to create programming for youth with autism and their families. Participants include parents and representatives from the University of Arkansas, Thrive Autism Solutions, Northwest Arkansas Center for Autism, Trike Theater, Walton Arts Center, and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

Access and inclusive programs are sponsored by

Loreen Arbus

Neff and Scarlet Basore

Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield

Starling Family Charitable Foundation