Access for people with disabilities
The museum is accessible from Canberra’s City Centre via ACTION. The FREE Centenary Loop, route 100, bus service connects the city to the major attractions in Canberra. It runs at 30 minute intervals 7 days a week. Alternatively, take bus routes 2, 3 and 6 on weekdays and routes 934 and 935 on weekends and public holidays. Routes 2, 3, 934 and 935 stop on Parkes Place and route 6 stops on King George Terrace.
The terrain is generally flat or rising gradually to the south-west. There are reasonably level footpaths bordering the parks and curb ramps provided at most corners.
Signposted accessible parking is available at the front of the building. It is located close to the accessible entrance which is on ground level. Additional accessible parking is on the eastern side of the building. Passengers can also be dropped off directly at the front steps of the museum.
Almost all of the museum is accessible for people in wheelchairs. Visitors requiring accessible entry to the museum can enter at ground level on either side of the main steps. Please press the buzzer for assistance and the door will be opened for you remotely. A security guard will greet you and escort you to the level that your require via lift.
There are 16 steep steps from ground level to reception and then 16 steps to the main floor of the museum or 8 steps to the lower level. There is a handrail for the majority of the route and the main doors are not difficult to open.
Courtesy wheelchairs and strollers
Wheelchairs and strollers are available free of charge, for use in the museum. These can be pre-booked by calling (02) 6270 8222 or requested on arrival on a first come basis.
Electric scooters may be used in all areas of the museum although some areas have narrow corridors and tight turns.
Admission and Companion Card
Admission to the museum is $2 for adults, $1 for children and concessions and $5 for families. We are a member of the National Companion Card scheme. Presentation of this card means your companion is admitted free of charge.
To preserve the heritage coverings and furniture of the building we ask visitors to cloak large backpacks, umbrellas, camera tripods, food and drink. Cloaking is available upon entry at Reception.
The museum comprises three levels (lower, main and upper) with a mixture of carpet, wood, linoleum, tile and concrete floor surfaces. All areas of the museum are accessible to people in wheelchairs although some areas have narrow corridors and tight turns. There is level access to both Chambers, however two small steps inside the Senate Chamber and three small steps inside the House of Representatives Chamber make some areas of the Chambers inaccessible for wheelchairs.
We have lift access to all floors. Most lifts have vocal announcements and all have controls at a height suitable for wheelchair users. The lifts hold one person in a wheelchair and a maximum of two other people standing. All doorways to public areas are held open other than those to toilets. The courtyards can be accessed via ramps with handrails. Almost all stairs in the museum have handrails.
Accessible toilets are on the lower and main floors and in the courtyards. The signage features Braille. The cafe is accessible with a convenient height servery and indoor seating options. Takeaway food can be consumed in the courtyards.
Interpretive presentations and programs
The museum offers guided tours and other activities. All presentations are wheelchair accessible.
There are numerous interpretive text panels throughout the building and exhibition spaces and some (but not all) audio-visual presentations are subtitled, captioned or accompanied by written transcripts. A subtitled iPod Touch is available from Visitor Services staff in King’s Hall.
We are working towards ensuring that our website complies with Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.
First aid assistance is provided by Security staff. You can contact Security staff through a member of the Visitor Services team or approach them directly. A first aid room is available for visitors on the lower floor.
Dog guides and assistance animals are welcome in all public areas of the museum.
Audio induction loops are installed in the Members’ Dining Room (our functions area) for improved sound quality for visitors with hearing aids.
The lighting levels throughout the museum vary according to interpretive and exhibition needs. Some exhibits have low level lighting to protect the objects on display.
If the museum has to be evacuated announcements will be made and an alarm will sound. The Visitor Services team will help visitors to leave the building safely.
If you require a taxi please ask the Visitor Services team or Security. They will be happy to call a taxi for you.