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

RIHS ACCESSIBILITY
John Brown House
Museum of Work & Culture
Research Center
Walking Tours
Aldrich House
aira: Free visibility app for blind or low vision made possible by the Rhode Island Foundation
Assisted listening devices
Temporarily unavailable
Temporarily unavailable
Temporarily unavailable
Wheelchair access
First floor only
First floor only
Restroom Wheelchair access
Accessible Parking Space
Tools to Prepare for All Ability Visits
All Ability Programs for Autism & Sensory Sensitivity
Social Stories and tools for families with children on the Autism spectrum
Multilingual Guides to the Museum with large print versions available
Family Guide to Museum

The John Brown House Museum

Wheelchair Access
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.

Tools for teachers and parents of children on the spectrum 
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.

Blind & Low Vision Access
Our site is aira enabled, providing free, unlimited access for those who are blind or have low vision with a smartphone app. Individuals can download the aira app to their device prior to their visit. While on-site, visitors can use the app to connect to an agent who will be able to read signage, describe the environment, and offer navigational assistance by accessing the phone’s camera.

Non-English Speakers
Printed guides are available in Spanish, French, and German.

Families with children
Visiting with small children? Ask for a copy of the Family Guide at the admissions desk.  Also available:  Family Guide to the Sally and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.

The Museum of Work & Culture

Wheelchair Access
The Museum is a fully accessible site, including parking, automatic doors, bathrooms, and elevator.

Blind & Low Vision Access
Our site is aira enabled, providing free, unlimited access for those who are blind or have low vision with a smartphone app. Individuals can download the aira app to their device prior to their visit. While on-site, visitors can use the app to connect to an agent who will be able to read signage, describe the environment, and offer navigational assistance by accessing the phone’s camera.

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.

These offerings are made possible with the generous support of the Rhode Island Foundation.

Autism & Sensory Sensitivity
The Museum offers low sensory hours, specialized programs, and tools for visitors with sensory processing sensitivities, such as autism. Sensory-friendly hours are offered as part of our SensAbilities Saturdays program, on the first Saturday of every month at 9 am. Made-to-Order Mondays, offered on alternating summer Mondays, are free programs with art and music therapists.

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. All staff members have undergone training with our friends at the Autism Project.

Thank you to our programming partners at Hands in Harmony and the Rhode Island Consortium of Autism Research & Treatment.

These offerings are made possible with the generous support of CVS Health Charity Classic.

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.

In addition, on the last Monday of each month at 1:30 pm, the Museum hosts Living Memories Mondays, a free program for individuals with memory loss and their caretakers featuring a changing hands-on program aimed at promoting engagement and fun. This is followed by a monthly Memory Cafe, featuring refreshments and the opportunity to socialize. This series is a part of Rhode Island’s Memory Café Network, whose mission is to support Rhode Islanders touched by memory loss or cognitive impairment with a community-based support network rooted in camaraderie, fellowship, and comfort.

Thank you to our partners at the Memory & Aging Program at Butler Hospital and Rhode Island’s Memory Café Network.

These offerings are made possible with the generous support of CVS Health Charity Classic.

Non-English Speakers
Our exhibits are presented in French, including an exhibit map & museum guide.

Thank you to the Québec Delegation, Centre de la francophonie des Amériques, and the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie for their generous support.

Aldrich House

Wheelchair Access
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

Wheelchair Access
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.