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Heading to the art gallery? See what access programs are available in some of Australia’s top spaces

This week, one of our clients found a support worker to accompany them to the Art Gallery of NSW for an exhibition. If you fancy getting out and about, there are plenty of access programs at top galleries around Australia.

Carers, support workers or family members should be able to get in free with a Companion Card. You can also borrow a wheelchair at most art galleries but make sure you call in advance to book one.

Canberra’s National Gallery of Australia has access options for hearing impairment and staff provide tours for visitors with vision impairment. The gallery offers braille brochures and guides for the Braille Sculpture Garden and the rest of the space. Specific access programs can be developed for special needs visitors. There is also an Art and Dementia program. Call 03 6240 6522 (assisted visit) or email for more information.

Access services at the National Gallery of Victoria include Auslan and audio describing. There are also All Abilities tours and education programs for students with a disability. The gallery hosts designated access days for certain exhibitions and can arrange special viewings and tours. Call 03 8620 2222 or enquire online.

The Art Gallery of NSW offers most access programs on demand if they’re booked a couple of weeks in advance. Options include Auslan and audio described, tactile and sensory for vision impairment, tours catering for intellectual disability including a children’s program called Starting with Art, and art and dementia tours for people living with dementia and their carers. The gallery also offers community access and outreach for seniors, people with limited mobility and not for profit organisations supporting people with disabilities. To book, or for more information, call 02 9225 1740 or email.

The Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art runs tours for visitors with disability and audio-described tours for visitors with low vision. Assistance dogs are also welcome. Access programs are open to residential care and community groups and there are also discussions-based tours for visitors with dementia and their family member, carer or support worker. Call 07 3840 7303 or email.

There is wheelchair access in all areas of the Art Gallery of South Australia and you can request a wheelchair in advance. Audio description tours run at scheduled times but can be provided on request for children and teens. The same goes for Auslan translated tours and events. Call 08 8207 7109 or email.

Hobart’s Museum of Old and New Art is the largest privately funded gallery in Australia with the country’s most controversial collection of art and antiquities. The MR1 ferry from Hobart is an experience in itself and is wheelchair-accessible. If you’re going to arrive by ferry, we recommend calling Ticket Support to arrange transport from the wharf to the museum itself. Call 03 6277 9978.

If you’re planning to visit the Top End, including the Museum and Art Gallery Northern Territory, you can see what access is available. Call 08 8999 8264 or email. And you can find out here about access facilities at the Art Gallery of Western Australia. Call the information line to find out more on 08 9492 6622.

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