The National Aviary is a fully ADA accessible facility featuring both indoor and outdoor exhibits. The National Aviary welcomes all people, recognizing the importance of serving all members of our local and world communities.
The National Aviary’s layout is stroller and wheelchair friendly, making it possible for all nature lovers to get close to the birds. Two wheelchairs are available for loan on a first-come, first-served basis.
National Aviary exhibits contain signage to help visitors identify the birds they see. For free-flight productions held in the Helen M. Schmidt FliteZone™ Theater, the National Aviary offers printed scripts at no cost for the hearing impaired. Ask for one at a Visitor Services Desk upon entry. Because the birds featured in each show may vary, please follow closely the sequence of the text material as you progress through the show, as some changes in featured birds could occur. All scripts are the property of the National Aviary © 2015.
Assistive Listening Devices (ALD's) can be obtained upon entry to the Helen M. Schmidt FliteZone™ Theater upon request. When you arrive at the Helen M. Schmidt Flight Zone™ Theatre, please let one of our show ushers know you require an ALD and we will supply you with a receiver that offers amplified sound. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy the show.
- For large groups of 8 or more requiring Assistive Listening Devices, please call 412-258-9459 at least 36 hours ahead of time, to reserve up to 24 units.
The National Aviary offers high contrast way-finding and exhibit signage along with some braille.
In accordance with ADA laws and regulations, the National Aviary allows people with disabilities to bring their service animals onto business premises consistent with applicable laws and regulations.
- Only dogs that are trained service animals (trained to do a specific task needed to assist an individual) will be admitted to the National Aviary.
- Pets or emotional support animals will not be admitted to the National Aviary under any circumstances.
- Service animals in-training are not permitted inside the National Aviary.
- To ensure the safety of our birds in the free flight rooms, guests with service animals are required to be accompanied by an associate of the National Aviary for the duration of their visit and agree to remain out of exhibits and other restricted areas.
- The welfare of our birds is of utmost priority and we go to great lengths to make sure they are protected. We acknowledge that a service animal is trained not to react to the birds in our collection, however in free-flight areas the bird’s exhibit fear and avoidance behaviors that could cause them harm.
For example, service dogs (canines) are restricted from entering the following areas:
- Tropical Forest/Canary’s Call
Under the ADA, all service animals must be under the control of their owner/handler. Service animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the service animal’s work, or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In that situation, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective means. The care and supervision of the service animal are the sole responsibility of his or her owner.
- In the event a zoo animal should respond adversely to the presence of the service animal, the owner/handler will move promptly away from the immediate area to avoid injury to the animals due to fright or panic.
- Service animals may not cross over barriers or otherwise come in close proximity to the zoo's animal collection.
- Owners will be responsible for all actions of the service animals, including the clean-up of any and all defecation from the service animals.
- Owners will be held responsible for any damages or injury caused by their service animals.
Service animals may be excluded from the National Aviary grounds or a portion of the grounds for the following reasons:
- Aggressive behavior by a service animal toward any person or animal.
- An animal that is not being controlled by its owner/handler.
- An animal that elicits fear or aggression from a zoo animal, or vice versa, creating a direct threat to the health or safety of itself or others that cannot be eliminated by reasonable accommodation.
- An animal that is not housebroken.
- An animal whose behavior (e.g., barking) fundamentally alters or disrupts shows, presentations, or the visitor experience.
- An animal who is showing signs of severe illness that creates health issues or a direct threat to the health and safety of others and that cannot be eliminated by reasonable accommodation (e.g., severe diarrhea, vomiting, bleeding).
If a service animal is excluded from the aviary grounds or a portion of the aviary grounds, the National Aviary will make reasonable accommodations to permit the guest to continue his or her visit. These accommodations will not include kenneling the service animal.
For additional information about accessibility, please contact Patty Scheide at 412-258-9484 or Patty.Scheide@aviary.org.