The Rhode Island Historical Society strives to be a welcoming environment for all visitors and it is our wish to accommodate their diverse needs.
Accessibility By Location
The John Brown House Museum
All three floors of the John Brown House are accessible by a wide, shallow staircase, however, only the first floor of the Museum is wheelchair accessible.
Guests Visiting with Children
Visiting with small children? Ask for a copy of the John Brown House Museum’s Family Guide at the admissions desk, as well as the Family Guide to the Sally and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
Autism & Sensory Sensitivity Tools
To prepare for a museum visit, a social story has been created as a step-by-step illustrated guide to help navigate exhibits. Additionally, checklists and “first-then” boards, aimed at offering more control of time and sequence have been developed. All materials are available at the admissions desk. The social story and checklist are available online to prepare for your visit.
The Museum of Work & Culture
The Museum is a fully accessible site, including parking, automatic doors, bathrooms, and elevator.
Blind & Low Vision Access
The museum features braille signage, as well as a tactile map of the Blackstone River Valley created by students at Woonsocket Middle School.
Thank you to our partners at Rhode Island Services for the Blind & Visually Impaired.
Autism & Sensory Sensitivity
The Museum offers low sensory hours, specialized programs, and tools for visitors with sensory processing sensitivities, such as autism.
We also offer a social story, checklists, “first-then” boards, and a backpack with headphones, sunglasses, weighted lap pads, and more to make visits more comfortable. Many staff members have undergone training with our friends at the Autism Project.
Memory Loss & Dementia
The Museum offers specially designed memory maps to provide conversation prompts via object-based questions for caretakers of individuals with memory loss.
Our exhibits are presented in French, including an exhibit map & museum guide. A Spanish printed guide is available upon request. Additionally, audio tours are available in French and Spanish.
The Museum offers audio tours, available in English, Spanish, and French included with museum admission.
A wheelchair lift located at the rear of the house provides access to the first floor of the Aldrich House. The ballroom may also be accessed separately via a ramp from the outside. Please note that there are stairs connecting the ballroom and the first floor and restrooms are not wheelchair accessible. From Cooke Street, enter through the driveway at the rear of the Aldrich House. Follow the path to the wheelchair lift for the first floor or continue on the path for the ramp to enter the ballroom. We encourage visitors to call in advance: (401) 331-8575.
Robinson Research Center
An accessible entrance is available via a paved pathway to the right of the front entrance stairs, through a gate in the picket fence surrounding the library. Please ring the bell to the left of the rear door for entrance to the Reading Room. Once admitted, please proceed to the sign-in desk for registration.