Disability & access

We hope that everyone who visits the V&A enjoys their experience. Visitors who require additional assistance can either speak to a member of staff when they arrive at V&A South Kensington or book in advance.

For assistance during your visit, please contact:
Contact Centre
Tel: 0207 9422 000
Email: accessibility@vam.ac.uk

Assistance dogs

The V&A understands that some visitors will require the support of an assistance dog and we are happy to admit appropriately trained assistance dogs.

Where possible, dog owners should bring their Assistance Dogs UK (ADUK), Assistance Dogs International (ADI) or the International Guide Dog Federation (IGDF) identification book and animals should wear the appropriate tabards or harness, but this is not a requirement for entry.

Assistance dogs should be supervised and kept under your control throughout your visit, ideally remaining on a lead and wearing the appropriate tabard or harness. If your assistance dog is not registered with ADI, ADUK or IGDF, we reserve the right to deny entry to your dog if it does not appear to our staff to have been appropriately trained. If you have any concerns about this, please contact us in advance of your planned visit. Similarly, if you plan to visit with an assistance animal other than an assistance dog, please get in touch to discuss your request with us: accessibility@vam.ac.uk

Getting here

The Cromwell Road and Exhibition Road entrances are both step-free. At the Cromwell Road entrance, a wheelchair accessible door is located between the revolving doors. At the Exhibition Road entrance, an automatic opening door is located at the bottom of the ramp. The Tunnel entrance from South Kensington underground station is not wheelchair accessible.

Blue Badge parking

There are twelve blue badge parking spaces on Exhibition Road managed by the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. For more information visit Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea parking

Visitors with mobility impairments

Mobility aids

Wheelchairs and walking sticks are available at the information desk in the Grand Entrance of V&A South Kensington. We recommend booking at least 24 hours in advance.

Portable stools

Stools are available in a range of galleries, please ask a member of staff for assistance.

Accessible toilets

To find our 13 accessible toilets, please go to our Visit page.

Visitors with a hearing impairment

Induction loops

You will need to switch your hearing aid to the 'T' position. Induction loops are available in the following areas:

  • Information desks
  • Retail points
  • Seminar Rooms and Lecture Theatres

Talks programme

There are regular talks for deaf and hard of hearing people in British Sign Language or with live subtitles. For a full programme of events visit What's On.

Subtitled videos

A selection of videos within the galleries include subtitles. We are working to subtitle all videos in galleries and exhibitions.

Visitors with a visual impairment

Large print labels

Large print label books are available in the galleries.

Tactile resources

Tactile books are available in the following galleries:

  • RIBA Architecture
  • Jameel Gallery of Islamic Art
  • Medieval & Renaissance
  • Sacred Silver & Stained Glass

The Raphael Cartoons

These tactile images are textured versions of the Raphael Cartoons. Each one has a raised QR code which links to an accompanying audio description. Listen on your own mobile device by scanning the code. There are seven tactiles with 3–4 minute audio descriptions, and an audio introduction to the Raphael Cartoons and Court.

Available 10.30–17.00 daily from the wooden unit in the Raphael Court (level 0, room 48a) . Please ask a member of staff for more information.

Generously supported by The Lord Leonard and Lady Estelle Wolfson Foundation.

Audio descriptions and guides

Listen to audio descriptions of historic locations in V&A South Kensington, such as the grand entrance, iron courts and café.

Europe 1600–1815 galleries

Get the most out of your visit to the Europe 1600–1815 galleries with our audio guide.

Touch tour playlist

This Touch Tour playlist describes a range of touch objects available in the V&A South Kensington. To locate the objects, please refer to the room numbers on the map available from the information desk in the Grand Entrance.

Assistive technologies

Our National Art Library and Prints & Drawings Study Room have:

  • free access to Windows computers
  • adaptable computer settings to suit needs
  • magnification systems (CCTV) for images, text in books and other printed materials

For a guide on how to access the study rooms, please visit Study Room Services for People with Disabilities.

Visitors with learning disabilities and dyslexia

Assistive technologies

Our Study Rooms provide free access to Windows computers. Settings can be adapted to suit needs in the ‘Ease of Access Centre’ accessed via the Control Panel.

  • National Art Library
  • Prints & Drawings Study Room

Ear defenders for children

We have two child sized ear defenders available for use at the Centre for Arts Education reception desk. No need to book.

Sensory backpacks

Sensory backpacks are available from the front desk in the Learning Centre.

The Curious Ceramic backpack trail is designed by multi-sensory artist Abigail Hirsch, with the help of families from SENSE. It has been specially created for children with visual impairments, special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), and can be enjoyed by the whole family. Find out more about this backpack and its contents on our blog.