Access and Accommodations for Visitors with Disabilities

Assistive Listening Devices (ALD)

Assistive Listening Devices amplify and clarify sound by cutting down or eliminating ambient noise. Anyone with or without a hearing aid may use the device in all of the museum's theaters (Tuttleman IMAX®, Fels Planetarium, Franklin Theater, and Demonstration Theater.) Head sets are distributed free of charge on a first-come first-served basis from the Atrium Information desk.

Visitors must leave one form of identification (i.e.-a valid drivers license, TFI membership card or any other ID showing their name) in order to borrow a device.

Visitors using Wheelchairs

Wheelchairs are available upon request at the Atrium Information desk or at the 20th Street Business desk.

All visitors borrowing a wheelchair will be asked to sign a proper usage agreement provided by the Guest Services staff.

It is strongly recommended that patrons who do not normally use a wheelchair bring a friend or companion along to assist in maneuvering the wheelchair around The Franklin Institute and into their seats.


Designated parking in The Franklin Institute garage for vehicles bearing handicapped parking sticker or license plates are on a first-come first-served basis. Van accessible parking for vehicles over 6'3" with handicapped parking stickers or license plates can be arranged by calling the garage office at 215.448.1391 voice or 215.448.1226 Voice/TTY, Monday-Friday from 9:00AM-5:00PM.

Rest Room Facilities

Visitors who use wheelchairs will find wheelchair accessible stalls in the following restrooms:

  • Atrium 2nd level
  • Planetarium Lobby 1st level
  • Lunchroom area 1st level
  • 4th level

The 1st level restrooms in the planetarium lobby are also family restrooms with baby changing accommodations

Sign Language Interpreters

Sign Language Interpreters are available for museum workshops and theaters that are not captioned.

Request for a sign language interpreter must be received three weeks prior to the reserved date at 215.448.1226 voice/TTY and are subject to the availability of an interpreter and provided at the discretion of management.

Visitors requesting ASL must reserve and pay for their visit in full no later than two weeks in advance of date of visit. Please contact 215.448.1200 (Option 3) to purchase tickets.

Closed Captioning

Rear-Window Closed Captioning System, primarily for patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Plexiglass reflector panels are available for some shows in the Fels Planetarium on the first floor. Currently, closed captioning is offered for "Wildest Weather in the Solar System." The plexiglass panel is placed on the arm of a seat that is located in the back of the Planetarium. The visitor positions the plexiglass panel to reflect text projected from the rear of the theater. The captions appear on the reflector at almost any angle the patron desires, depending on placement of the panel.

Visitors should stop at the Information Booth for a program sheet listing show times. Please inform the Information Booth staff, which show you are planning to attend so they can inform the console operator and arrive 10 - 15 minutes before the posted show time to ensure distribution of the reflectors.

Wheelchair Accessible Entrances and Seating

Accessible entrances to The Franklin Institute are located at the 20th Street business entrance or via the parking garage elevators into the Bartol Atrium.

Entrance for the Tuttleman IMAX® Theater is via the IMAX® exit, 3rd level atrium. The door will open approximately 10 minutes prior to show time.

Additional Information

For more information about accessibility, or to request accommodations please contact the Guest Services department.

Phone: 215.448.1226 Voice/TTY