Access Programs and Services

The ROM recognizes the diversity of our visitors’ abilities and needs, and we offer a variety of programs and services to ensure the accessibility of the Museum and its collections. Please check the Event's Calendar for current exhibitions, upcoming programs and public notices including service disruptions.

Visitors who are blind or who have vision loss
Learn about programs and services that will enhance your experience through touch and audio description

Visitors who are deaf, deafened or hard of hearing
Learn about programs and services offering assistive listening devices or American Sign Language interpretation.

Visitors with Dementia
Learn about our NEW program for visitors with dementia and their companions.


VIDEO: Innovative Museum Tours at the Royal Ontario Museum

Produced by AccessOntario


Programs for Visitors who are blind or who have vision loss

Visitor touching the Ming Tomb on a Tactile Tour at the ROM.

Tactile Tours

Guided by trained volunteers, ROM Tactile Tours allow visitors who are blind or who have vision loss to explore artifacts from the ROM's collections through touch and descriptive narrations. Tactile Tours are offered by request to visitors of all ages, individually or in groups.  These tours are free with admission. For more information or to reserve, please call 416.586.5823 or email accessibility@rom.on.ca


Audio Description Program

The Audio Description program makes visual media accessible by providing descriptive narration for people who are blind or who have vision loss. Visitors can download these files to their mp3 players or mobile devices, or borrow an iPod® from the Museum admission desk for free. Follow the link to review the ROM’s Audio Description Collection.  

The Forbidden City: Inside the Court of China's Emperors exhibition offers an audio description tour accompanied by touchable reproductions representing some of the luxurious and everyday treasures from the imperial palace. To listen or download, please visit      www.rom.on.ca/ROMfctour

The Forbideen City Descriptive Audio Tour was developed in partnership with Descriptive Video Works.


Tactile Books

Tactile books at the ROM feature Braille, raised line graphics, large print and full-colour pictures. Tactile books are available for some special exhibitions, and some collections. These can be reviewed on-site at the ROM library. For details, contact the library at 416-586-5595 (Bell Relay Service 711) or library@rom.on.ca. The library is open Monday to Friday from 10 am to 5 pm.


Large Print Guides

Large print guides for selected exhibitions and visitor guides and floor plans are at the Museum through the admission desk. Large print Visitor Guides and Floor plans are also available online.


Hands-on-galleries

CIBC Discovery Gallery, Level 2

This interactive space offers young visitors an abundance of hands-on activities and real artifacts that bring to life the mystery, excitement, and fascinating journey of discovery. There is a Dinosaur Dig for aspiring palaeontologists, a costume area, complete with mirrors, replica clothing and armour, and a kids-size tipi to explore. This gallery was developed in 1977 in cooperation with CNIB to provide tactile learning experiences for all.

Patrick and Barbara Keenan Family Gallery of Hands-on Biodiversity, Level 2

This gallery is a hands-on learning centre exploring the vast diversity of life on earth. The gallery is based on the Museum's collections and research, and offers visitors a venue to examine and handle hundreds of objects. This gallery is animated by gallery facilitators.


Gallery Interpreters

Bringing objects into the galleries, interpreters provide visitors with active exploration activities and share engaging information about each object. Look for gallery interpreters in the Samuel Hall Currelly Gallery and Patrick and Barbara Keenan Family Gallery of Hands-on Biodiversity daily, 1 pm to 3 pm. 

Please Note: Locations and times are subject to change. Please inquire at the Admissions Desk on the day of your visit.


Programs for visitors who are deaf, hard of hearing or deafened

Vistitors in the gallery following an ASL interpretor.

American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreted Tours

On the first Thursday of the month, as part of a partnership with George Brown College’s School of Deaf and Deafblind Studies, the ROM facilitates ASL- interpreted tours. ROM ASL- Interpreted tours are free with general Museum admission. The tours do not require reservations. For information about upcoming tours, please visit the ASL-Interpreted Tour's Calendar.

For more information or if you wish to request a private ASL-Interpreted Tour for your group, please call 416.586.5823 or Bell Relay Service: 711 or 1.800.855.0511, or email us at accessibility@rom.on.ca


ASL Video Podcasts Program

In 2005, the ROM launched ASL video and audio podcasts highlighting Museum research and collections. These podcasts can be downloaded and viewed on a computer, iPod® or mp3 player. Currently, there are more than 90 podcast files available online accompanied by written transcripts. Check the feature ASL-videos online or borrow at the admission desk an iPod® for free. 


Museum Interactives 

Interactive displays found in many of the galleries provide an alternative and engaging way of learning about our collections and the stories they represent. The interactive displays are contextualized by over 80 interactive touch screen stations around ROM’s galleries and exhibitions. All videos that include narration are captioned in both English and French.


Hearing Loop System

For the hard of hearing, the ROM offers a loop system installed in our admissions desk. Hearing aid wearers with a “T” (telecoil) setting, can now request FM assistive listening devices (neck loops) for special tours and lectures.


Assistive Communication Technology

ROM admissions desk offers the Ubi-Duo, an assistive communication technology that allows real time communication between a visitor who is deaf and our staff members.  


ASL Interpretation 

American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation is available for all ROM lectures with at least three weeks advance notice.  Please, email programs@rom.on.ca to request the service. Visit the  Event's Calendar for current and upcoming lectures and programs.


Programs for visitors with Dementia

 ROM Alzheimer's Tour

 Alzheimer’s Tours

These monthly tours are designed for groups of visitors in the early stages of memory loss and their companions. Guided by trained Docents, the programs are designed to foster socialization, mental alertness and reminiscence of the past through facilitated discussions. Pre-registration is required by contacting the Alzheimer Society of Toronto at imoffett@alzheimertoronto.org or by calling 416 322-6560.