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White House of the Confederacy

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 parking in the VCU Medical Center 12th Street Parking Deck that can be validated at the welcome desk in the visitor center, which has a vertical clearance no higher than 6 feet 5 inches, and there are also several accessible street parking spaces nearby.

  • There is no labeled van accessible parking in the garage or for the street parking.

  • Most of the garage parking spaces have access aisles, but the street parking does not have any.

  • The surface of the accessible parking spaces and access aisles in the garage is concrete and most do not have a noticeable slope or cross slope.

  • There are no tactile domes at the transition from the parking lot surface in the garage to the elevator building and/or sidewalk, and the two surfaces are level with each other-having no curb or curb ramp.

  • For the street parking spaces, the slope of the spaces is minimal, and depending on where you park, there is either a curb cut with a yellow or gray tactile pad to access the sidewalk, or a curb cut with no tactile pad.


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.).


  • There is an elevator in the parking garage, with accessible features including tactile and braille buttons, that serves as part of the accessible route from the garage to the White House of the Confederacy.

  • The routes from the various parking spaces have steep slopes at times of up to 8 to 10 percent for short distances, and some transitions from the street to the curb cuts have a slight lip to access them.

  • The garage parking pathway to the entrance has the least amount of slope of all possible options, but is not the closest path to the orientation building or the White House of the Confederacy.

  • The paths to the White House of the Confederacy and associated gift shop and orientation building have some bench seating available along the way, some of which is slightly below an accessible height.

  • The entrance into the gift shop and orientation center has a fairly steep slope just before the door and a slight threshold of up to half an inch, but it also has an automatic push button and a wide entryway door.

  • The main entrance doors to the main house, separate from the orientation building, can only be accessed via steps and lead to a double door where each leaf of the door can open if need be.

  • There are handrails on both sides of the main steps at an accessible height, but do not have handrail extensions.

  • Both buildings have entry doors with hardware at an accessible height, but the knobs for the doors into the main house require grasping and twisting of the wrist, while the orientation building has accessible door hardware.


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 gift shop and orientation building, the flooring surface is a mix of smooth tile and compact, low profile carpet and entrance rugs.

  • All of the main interior pathways of the orientation building are 36 inches wide or greater and all interior flooring transitions and thresholds are minimal.

  • Everything in the orientation and gift shop building is on one level.

  • There is one protruding object near the back of the giftshop where a handrail sticks out beyond the edge of a shelf with snacks on it and one on the 2nd level in the main house after turning to the right past the main staircase there will be a coat-hanging piece of furniture that has hooks that protrude from it, at 3-4 inches away from its base.

  • Inside of the main house itself, the flooring surface is almost exclusively carpet.

  • Most of the pathways and doorways are at least 36 inches wide, except for an upstairs pathway where the AED is located, and the doors to the different rooms are kept open during hours of operation or are opened by a tour guide.

  • Most of the rooms are segmented off with metal stanchions and rope.

  • Currently the only way to access the upstairs is via a spiral staircase with 26 steps.

  • At the time of our assessment, the only thing blocking the downstairs was a single metal stanchion with no rope or anything attached to it.

  • There is plenty of seating throughout both buildings, most of which is at an accessible height and is a bench type seating, but there are no easily portable/foldable chairs or chairs with backrests and armrests in the house.

  • The point of sale counter in the gift shop is at an accessible height and the card reader is movable.

  • There is some merchandise in the gift shop area that may be difficult to reach or heavy for some, but staff is able to assist if needed.

  • Signage is limited, generally, throughout.

  • The site is typically not too crowded because of the guided and timed tours, and does not have bad acoustics.

  • There are quiet spaces available in the basement of the main building, or the orientation space in the gift shop and orientation building. Ask staff for a more quiet, private space if needed.

  • All windows in both buildings have either shutters or shades to help make a space darker if needed.



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 accessible and can be found in the gift shop and orientation building behind the White House of the Confederacy.

  • No single occupant or family restroom is available.

  • There are two gendered, multi restrooms, one men’s and one women’s room with grab bars around the toilet at an accessible height and properly located, and automatic lights, faucets, and soap dispensers, and other accessories.

  • The signage is good for all restrooms, with braille and tactile characters.

  • The lights are on an automatic sensor.

  • The sinks in the restroom are at an accessible height, have automatic sensors, and the pipes underneath the sinks are covered.

  • The soap and paper towel dispensers are also automatic, but the sensor for the paper towels did not appear to be functioning during our assessment.

  • All accessories, except the handle for the baby changing station, were at an accessible height.

  • The men’s restroom had a trashcan blocking the maneuvering clearance on the inside, immediately adjacent to the door.

  • The women’s restroom had a trashcan blocking the space needed in front of the sink on the right side sink.

  • The hooks on the back of the stall doors are at an accessible height above the floor.



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.


  • Virtual tours of the White House of the Confederacy with a live tour guide can be set up with two to three days' notice since the main house is currently not wheelchair accessible.

  • There is a clothing hook on a pole that can be used to retrieve shirts on the top row in the gift shop.

  • Electrical outlets in the restrooms and gift shop/orientation room are at an accessible height.

  • The location is service animal friendly.

  • Bags with handles are available for any purchases in the gift shop area to make carrying items easier.

  • There is a large, non-portable, dry erase board and markers available for alternative communication.

  • Feedback can be given online or in person.

  • 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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