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Accessibility at Mystic Aquarium

Accessibility at Mystic Aquarium

Our buildings and grounds have been designed to provide both full access and quality experiences for guests with disabilities and those that require accommodations. A convenient guest drop-off and pick-up area is located at the main entrance.

The facility is fully wheelchair accessible. For those without their own, we have a limited number of wheelchairs available on a first-come, first-serve basis that are sanitized after each use. To request a wheelchair during your visit, ask any of our friendly front gate staff, who will arrange for one to be brought to you (subject to availability). While there is no fee to use this equipment, we will hold a credit card or driver’s license until the wheelchair is returned at the conclusion of your visit. Staff are available throughout our campus to assist guests with any questions, directions, or accommodation requests.

Private spaces: Our Yale New Haven Health Family Lounge and First Aid Center serves as a multipurpose space for nursing, first aid, or as a sensory-friendly quiet room to assist in de-escalation. This space is located within the Main Gallery; for access, visit the front office or ask any staff member. A private family and companion care restroom is located beside the Saltwater Café.

If you are accompanied by a sign language interpreter or other 1:1 needed aid, they can receive a complimentary general admission ticket. Please call the Aquarium’s Admissions Office to reserve your aid’s complimentary ticket. 860-572-5955 x222

While pets are not allowed on campus, we welcome ADA-compliant service animals.

Certified Sensory Inclusive Venue

To better accommodate guests with sensory needs, the Aquarium is certified as a KultureCity location. Visit our Information Booth (or ask any of our friendly staff) to borrow a free KultureCity bag.

The Aquarium also has sensory signage throughout campus that designate Quiet Areas, indicating a quieter space for guests that may benefit from taking a break and Headphone Zones, indicating that sensitive guests may want to wear ear protection due to higher noise levels.

Mystic Aquarium staff have received additional KultureCity-training to enhance the guest experience for those with sensory differences.

Social Story

A social story is a learning tool that prepares an individual for an upcoming social experience, including expected sensory input and appropriate responses. Our social story describes the Aquarium and its sensory experiences, as well as helpful resources, so that individuals with sensory differences are prepared and able to experience a safe and enjoyable visit.

We offer three versions of the social story: an original version with text and photos of the aquarium, a modified version with universal symbol support and less text for youth users, and a version with only text for those who benefit from less visual distraction.

Accommodations for Guests with Low Vision

Our exhibits offer multiple interactive and touch experiences to provide a tactile experience for guests with low vision. Additionally, many exhibits are attended by staff who give educational talks and answer questions.

Through a partnership with CRISAccess, many habitats and exhibits offer scannable QR codes that allow guests to access audio information on their personal mobile devices.

We have sensory welcome touch bags available on a first-come, first-serve basis for those with low vision. The bags contain touch learning props with corresponding QR codes for audio information about the featured animals and their habitats. To request a sensory welcome bag, please inquire at our Information Booth or ask any friendly staff for assistance.

Accommodations for Guests with Low Hearing

We offer handheld closed captioning devices at Jurassic Giants theaters upon request.

Additional Experiences

The Mystic Aquarium offers several Encounter Programs (additional fees apply) that offer guests an up-close and personal experience with an animal of their choice. The Encounter Programs can provide any accommodation(s) for individuals who request it in advance. Click here for more information

The Education Department at the Mystic Aquarium offers a variety of programs for diverse audiences. Click here for more information.

Partnerships

The Mystic Aquarium is proudly partnering with the Institute for Human Centered Design to provide an inclusive experience for guests of all abilities throughout the Aquarium and its exhibits.

The Mystic Aquarium is proudly partnering with KultureCity to ensure that every guest visiting the Aquarium – with or without sensory needs – has an enjoyable experience. Our special accommodations include a Quiet Room with sensory objects for de-escalation purposes, Quiet Areas, Headphone Zone signage located throughout the aquarium, and KultureCity Sensory Bags with items that aid those with sensory differences during their visit. 

For more information, please call (860) 572-5955 or email info@mysticaquarium.org.

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