Accessible Guide to NYC Fall Arts

Eliza Cooper

Fall is prime arts season in NYC. Exhibitions and performances opening at venues across the City make autumn one of the most exciting times of year to visit. To whet your creative appetites, we’ve curated a selection of arts and cultural events below. These are geared toward—or staged by—people with a variety of disabilities. Begin your exploration here, and for a more complete list see our fall 2018 art guide.

The Jewish Museum. Photo: Alex Lopez


The Jewish Museum
The Jewish Museum’s next ASL tour, taking place November 29, will introduce those who are deaf or hard of hearing to the Martha Rosler: Irrespective exhibition, which covers the far-reaching work of this feminist and social and political critic. (The show is up through March 3, 2019.) Reservations are free but required. For more information and to RSVP, email or call 212-423-3289.

The Met Fifth Avenue. Photo: Tagger Yancey IV

The Met Fifth Avenue
The Met’s Signs in the Studio series, conducted in ASL without vocal interpretation, consists of guided gallery tours followed by creative exploration, where participants get the chance to create their own artwork. Events in this series are free, but reservations are required. Email or call 212-650-2010.

Projects 195: Park McArthur. Courtesy, The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Photo: Denis Doorly

Museum of Modern Art
Projects 195: Park McArthur
This exhibit, running through January 27, 2019, is created by artist and wheelchair user Park McArthur. McArthur’s work responds to MoMA’s ongoing expansion, exploring architecture and the use of space, resulting in a proposal for a mixed-use building that would house disabled and non-disabled residents. Audio guides are available. (Note: unfortunately, the numbers of the pieces don’t include braille for the audio tour, so you’ll need a sighted person to help as a guide.)

Other Upcoming Events
MoMA offers events customized for groups of visitors with varying abilities each month. Select fall highlights include:

Create Ability: Movement in Art (November 18) is a gallery exploration and classroom workshop for people with learning or developmental disabilities and their families.

Art inSight: Architecture and Design (December 4) offers programming for visually impaired and blind visitors. Museum educators provide thorough descriptions of artworks and discuss a variety of themes.

Meet Me at MoMA (December 18) is an interactive program for people with dementia and their families or caregivers.

All of MoMA’s programs for visitors with disabilities are free but require reservations in advance. Email or call 212-408-6447.

Whitney Museum of American Art
Verbal Description and Touch Tour: Andy Warhol—From A to B and Back Again (December 14) is a program for blind and visually impaired visitors that will examine the current Warhol exhibit. Tickets are free, but reservations are required. To RSVP, email or call 646-666-5574.

Broadway. Photo: Eric Hsu


Theater Access NYC
Before you purchase tickets to the Great White Way, visit Theater Access NYC. This resource provides searchable information on available accommodations for all running shows for audience members with disabilities, including autism-friendly shows, live and prerecorded audio description for blind or visually impaired visitors, listening devices and closed or open captioning for those who are deaf and hard of hearing, and wheelchair accessible shows and venues.

Theater & Dance

Heidi Latsky Dance
This company promotes inclusive dance by incorporating performers with “unique attributes.” On December 3, 2018, the annual International Day of Persons with Disabilities, Heidi Latsky Dance will be staging On Display Global. Visit NYU Tisch to view the installation, which includes a film of pieces performed for this project in partnering cities around the world.


Signature Theatre
The Signature Theatre provides occasional open-caption performances for select plays. Upcoming open-captioned shows include:

Thom Pain (based on nothing) (November 18, 2pm) is a one-man show starring Golden Globe winner Michael C. Hall.

Fabulation, or the Re-education of Undine (December 16, 2pm), by Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Lynn Nottage, is the story of a publicist who loses her fortune and is forced to return to her childhood home.

Theater Breaking Through Barriers
This Off-Broadway theater company is the only one specifically dedicated to advancing actors and writers with disabilities. They tour internationally and perform here in NYC. They will soon be announcing their 2018–2019 season, check for the latest on upcoming shows.