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Virginia Museum of History & Culture

Results from VisitAble's Accessibility Test



Description of Section

This includes the number of accessible parking spaces, the labeling of the accessible parking spaces, and the accessibility of the accessible parking spaces.


  • There is a large parking area about 150-200 feet away from the main entrance located at the back of the museum with thirteen total accessible spaces, nine of which are van accessible, although they are not signed as van accessible.

  • The pavement markings have the international symbol of accessibility, and all markings are well contrasted with the parking lot surface.

  • The parking lot surface is smooth asphalt, and the concrete sidewalk is flush with the parking lot surface.

  • There are no tactile pads at the transition from the parking lot surface to the sidewalk.


Pathway to Entrance and Entrance

Description of Section

This includes the accessibility of the pathway from the accessible parking spaces to the entrance (including curb ramps, ground/floor surfaces, etc.) and the accessibility of the entrance itself (widths of doors, lips under doors, etc.).


  • The surface of the location’s outdoor paths leading to the main entrance at the back of the building is wide and relatively flat.

  • There is also a pick up and drop of area close to the main entrance, which is to the right of the main parking area.

  • The pickup and drop off location has several benches with seating at an accessible height, but no backrest or armrests.

  • The main entrance doors to the museum have an automatic door opener and are at least 32 inches wide with a minimal threshold, and door hardware at an accessible height.

  • There is an alternate entrance along Arthur Ashe Boulevard that has stairs up to it, but this entrance is not identified as the main entrance.

  • The stairs have good consistent riser height and tread depths with handrails on both sides of the staircases that have extensions at the top and bottoms of each staircase.

  • The doors at the entrance are fairly heavy, and have a 31 inch clear width for each door (set of double doors).


Interior Pathways

Description of Section

This includes accessibility of different items in the location, pathways in the location, signage, cleanliness of pathways, how steep pathways are, presence of inaccessible areas, accessibility of doors not covered by other sections, accessibility of any complimentary water/refreshments/snacks, and the presence and accessibility of any seating.


  • Once inside, the flooring surface is primarily smooth tile flooring, with low profile, compact carpet in some of the exhibits, theater spaces, and library.

  • Interior pathways are spacious, most doorways are kept open and are also very wide, and flooring transitions and thresholds are minimal to non-existent.

  • There is plenty of seating throughout the museum, some of which is slightly above or below an accessible height, and a majority of the seating, except for the cafe, Robins Family Forum, and Halsey Family Hall do not have backrests or armrests.

  • The cafe has some tables where the table surface is accessible, but then there is not enough space under the table to accommodate a wheelchair.

  • Robins Family Forum has plenty of accessible seating with spaces available for wheelchairs and seats on the ends of rows with armrests that fold up for easier transfers.

  • Robins Family Forum also has an elevator and an accessible means to access the stage.

  • Halsey Family Hall has seating and tables at an accessible height, but currently only has stairs to access the stage.

  • The point of sale counters in the cafe and museum store are both at an accessible height, and staff can assist with credit card purchases.

  • There is some merchandise in the visitor center that may be difficult to reach for some, but staff is able to assist if needed.

  • Two out of three accessible height water fountains have knee clearance that is less than 27 inches high due to to the control button that extends below the water fountain bowl, which may make it difficult to use for some individuals.

  • The exhibits themselves are spacious, and are mostly on the second floor, which can be easily accessed via and elevator or staircase, and the information within the exhibits is mostly in text form, with no braille or tactile alternatives.

  • The elevators in the Robins Family Forum and main circulation elevator have accessible features and controls, including audible tones to indicate floors, the arrival of the elevator car, and buttons inside the car with braille and tactile characters to the left of each corresponding button.

  • There is an introductory film that has closed captions.

  • There are several touch screen displays and other interactive exercises that are mostly vision based, with no audio alternative.

  • There is one display that requires stairs to access it.

  • The site fairly busy, generally, and can be echoey at times.

  • The introductory film is quite loud.

  • There are quiet spaces available in the meeting rooms and the library

  • Ask staff for a more quiet, private space if needed.

  • Windows in the meeting rooms have shades, but most of the exhibit spaces and theater type areas do not have windows.

  • Directional signage does not have great contrast, or braille or tactile alternatives, and identification signage is missing or not clear in some areas, including the alternate entrance to the Robins Family Forum and the Orientation Theater (where there is just a room number next to the door).



Description of Section

This includes bathrooms being labeled as accessible, the width of bathroom and accessible stall doors, location of doors, height of door openers off the floor, weight of doors, presence of appropriate grab bars, the ability for a customer using a wheelchair to completely turn around in the bathroom/accessible stall, the height of the flush controls off the floor, the reachability of the sink/toilet paper/soap/drying equipment/lights, and the height of mirrors off the floor.


  • Restrooms are generally very accessible with one accessible single occupant restroom, and four multi stall restrooms, two on each floor, one of each gender.

  • Every restroom has grab bars around the toilet in the accessible stalls, and the multi-stall restrooms have an ambulatory accessible stall and a wheelchair accessible stall.

  • The multi-stall gendered restrooms each have a step stool for one of the sinks.

  • Most of the restrooms except the ones by the learning center have automatic lights, and sensor controlled accessories at accessible heights above the floor.

  • The sinks have good knee space underneath in all restrooms and the piping for the sinks are protected against contact.

  • The restrooms by the learning center have paper towel dispensers slightly above an accessible height, and the women’s restroom in the same location has a trash can in the way of the maneuvering clearance on the pull side of the door to exit the restroom.

  • There are no automatic openers on any of the doors but the doors are fairly lightweight with good maneuvering clearance on the pull side of the doors.



Description of Section

This includes the presence of accessibility features to make this establishment go above and beyond the accessibility of other establishments of the same type.


  • There are mobility devices available for guests to use during their visit, including two wheelchairs and a scooter.

  • There are noise canceling headphones, fidget toys, and stress balls available to check out at the welcome desk to use during your visit, if needed.

  • The location is service animal friendly.

  • An accessibility web page is available on the museum’s website with further details on accessibility and affordability.

  • The museum also has an online store if online shopping is easier/preferred.

  • Employees are going through, or have completed, disability etiquette training to differentiate and elevate their customer service.

Want to Learn More About Our Accessibility Tests?

Send an email to with subject line: "VisitAble's Accessibility Test" and tell us what specifically you would like to know and the reason why. We're happy to provide as much information as is needed to allow you to have the confidence in knowing if an establishment is accessible to you or not!

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