Smithsonian Folklife Festival Accessible to Visitors with Disabilities

June 20, 2012
News Release

The Smithsonian Institution is committed to making the annual Smithsonian Folklife Festival accessible and enjoyable for visitors with disabilities. The 2012 Festival features “Campus and Community: Public and Land-grant Universities and the USDA at 150,” “Citified: Arts and Creativity East of the Anacostia River” and “Creativity and Crisis: Unfolding The AIDS Memorial Quilt.”

The 10-day Festival, held outdoors on the National Mall between Seventh and 14th streets, will take place from Wednesday, June 27, through Sunday, July 1, and Wednesday, July 4, through Sunday, July 8. Admission is free. Festival hours are from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day, with concerts, special events and dance parties extending into most evenings.

Visitors with disabilities who need assistance are advised to report to the Information booths located at various points around the Festival site or to the Volunteer tent located in the Festival Services area near the Smithsonian Metrorail station’s Mall exit. A large-print version of the Festival’s daily schedule and food concession menus will be available. The Festival guide is available in audio format and as a podcast online at A limited number of wheelchairs will be available at the Volunteer tent for loan.

American Sign Language interpreters will be on site daily to interpret selected performances and presentations. An additional ASL interpreter is on site each day and can be reached via the Volunteer tent for visitors with requests beyond the scheduled events. Real-time captioning (CART) will be provided for selected performances and presentations. Refer to the online Festival schedule for the times and dates of ASL and CART services, or pick up an updated schedule of interpreted events from the Volunteer tent or information booths. The online schedule can be found at

Verbal-description and tactile tours are scheduled for Saturday, June 30, at 1 p.m. and Friday, July 6, at 3 p.m. for visitors who are blind or have low vision; reservations may be made by emailing or calling (202) 633-2921 (voice). To request other access services not listed above, the public may call (202) 633-2921 (voice) or email

Performance stages, narrative stages, the Test Kitchen and Smithsonian U locations are equipped with audio loops and loop receivers. The Smithsonian Folklife Festival welcomes all service animals.

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