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Accessibility

Facility Map & Accessibility

The National Aviary is committed to creating an experience that is inclusive of and accessible to all of our visitors. Our staff are trained in how to help visitors make the most of their time with us, and are available to assist you with your needs.

Stroller and Wheelchair Accessibility

The National Aviary’s layout is stroller and wheelchair friendly, making it possible for all nature lovers to get close to birds. Wheelchairs are available for loan free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis. Accessible parking is available on a first-come, first-served basis in our parking lot and near our entrance at Arch Street.

Allergens

Please be aware that the National Aviary is NOT an allergen-free facility, as many of our birds’ diets include nuts, seeds, and other potential human allergens.

Hearing Accessibility

Signage is available to  help visitors identify birds. For immersive bird shows held in the Helen M. Schmidt FliteZone™ Theater, the National Aviary offers printed scripts at no cost upon request. 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 © 2020.

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™ Theater, please let one of our show ushers know you require an ALD and we will supply you with a receiver that offers amplified sound. 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.

Visual Accessibility

The National Aviary offers high-contrast way-finding and habitat signage, including some Braille. Large print maps are available upon request at the Visitor Services Desk.

Sensory Accessibility

Noise cancelling headphones and sensory backpacks are available for visitors with sensory sensitivities. They may be borrowed at a first-come, first-served basis from our Visitor Services desks. Our Sensory Guide shares what you might experience room by room during your visit.

Service Animals

The National Aviary welcomes visitors and their trained service animals. We ask visitors with service animals to observe the following guidelines to ensure the safety of our flock:

  • Service animals that are trained to do a specific task needed to assist an individual will be admitted to the National Aviary.
  • Service animals in-training are not permitted inside the National Aviary.
  • Pets or emotional support animals will not be admitted to the National Aviary under any circumstances.
  • 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 habitats and other restricted areas.
  • The wellbeing of our birds is our priority. While a service animal is trained now to react to birds, in our free-flight habitats the presence of service animals can cause fear for our birds and potentially cause them harm. Service dogs are restricted from entering the following areas:
    • The Helen M. Schmidt FliteZone™ Theater
    • Sky Deck
    • Grasslands
    • Wetlands
    • Tropical Rainforest/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 an 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 animals at the National Aviary.
  • 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 National Aviary 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 National Aviary grounds or a portion of the Aviary grounds, the National Aviary will make reasonable accommodations to permit the guest to continue their visit. These accommodations will not include kenneling the service animal.

For additional information about accessibility, please contact us.

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