We want everyone to feel included in all that Wellcome Collection has to offer. Find out how we make our building, services and programme as accessible and inclusive as possible.
Our ongoing commitment is to make our building, services and programme as accessible and inclusive as possible, removing and reducing barriers to visiting us.
Our staff are aware of the diversity of visitors’ access requirements and are here to support you. Get in touch if you have any specific queries about accessibility. And after your visit, please share feedback about your experience with the Access team so that we can continue to improve our accessibility services and facilities.
Contact the Access team
We’re located in central London and we’re very easy to get to by public transport. You’ll find information about transport accessibility from Transport for London, but if you would like one of our staff to meet you at the nearest station and help you make your way to our building, speak with our Access team.
We also have parking available for visitors with access requirements.
Getting around the building
Our building facilities and services are designed to make your visit more accessible.
You are very welcome to bring along your assistance animals. We recognise an assistance animal as being a companion without whose support a visitor would not otherwise be able to attend and participate in everything taking place at Wellcome Collection. No other animals are permitted in our building.
Owners are expected to take responsibility for their assistance animal throughout their visit. In order to protect our collections and for everyone’s comfort and safety, we politely ask you to observe our guidelines:
- your assistance animal should remain under your care and control throughout your visit, ideally remaining on a leash
- your assistance animal can only eat or drink in certain spaces in the building, as directed by our staff. We can provide a drinking bowl for your animal; just ask at the Information Point on level 0.
We have accessible toilets on every floor of the building, and there is a Changing Places toilet on level 0. You can also find an accessible toilet with baby-changing facilities on level 0.
Accessible exhibitions and events
You’ll find accessibility services and facilities available for the majority of our events and exhibitions. We reserve a limited number of tickets for each event for visitors with access requirements, and many of our events are relaxed.
You’ll find accessibility information for a specific activity on the event or exhibition page for that activity. We also offer free access tours for exhibitions and for our building.
If you would like to attend an event that is not accessible for you, call or email us in advance and we can try to make it accessible. Join our mailing list to learn about future accessible events.
Large print and magnifiers
We have large-print labels and guides for our exhibitions, and you can borrow a magnifying glass or magnifying sheet.
There are Braille labels for and tactile reproductions of objects in the ‘Medicine Man’ gallery. You will find these in special drawers set at standing height into the gallery walls.
We offer free audio-described tours of our exhibitions.
You can download or stream audio descriptions of every exhibit in ‘Being Human’ or take a highlights tour with 11 stops and optional directions in between.
Assistive study room
If you are researching and studying in the library, you can book time in the assistive study room, which has a computer with screen-reading software, Dictaphones and other read-aloud equipment.
A range of accessibility software and assistive equipment is available for researchers in the library, either in the assistive study room or on request from the library Enquiry Desk.
- JAWS screen-reading software, which uses a multi-lingual speech synthesiser to read aloud information from the screen.
- A Zoomtext screen magnifier that includes a range of colour and cursor controls.
- Kurzweil, software that uses a scanner and speech synthesiser to read aloud what you scan.
- High-contrast enlarged-text keyboard.
- Handheld magnifiers, a portable fluorescent magnifier with daylight simulation tube, and an Aladdin Rainbow Elite book magnifier with a range of colour and contrast controls.
There are fixed induction loops at:
- the Information Point on level 0
- Wellcome Café on level 0
- the library Enquiry Desk on level 2
- the Reading Room
- the venue hire reception on level -1 and many of the rooms available for hire, including the Williams Lounge, Frank and Steel Rooms, Dale Room, Burroughs Room and the private dining room
- the Henry Wellcome Auditorium and the Forum.
We also have portable induction loops. Contact the Access team to reserve a portable loop for your visit.
British Sign Language and speech to text
We offer free speech-to-text tours and British Sign Language (BSL)-led and BSL-interpreted tours of our exhibitions.
If you’re doing research in the library, you can borrow headphones for use with hearing aids as recommended by Action on Hearing Loss (RNID). Ask at the library Enquiry Desk.
Wheelchair and physical access
We have a wheelchair-accessible building. If your wheelchair or mobility device is 75 cm or wider, access to certain areas of the building may be limited. Please contact us if you have a larger device and we can help you plan your visit.
You can also borrow a wheelchair from us during your visit – just ask at the Information Point on level 0. Or contact us in advance if you would like to reserve a wheelchair.
Sometimes visitors need to queue while waiting for an event. If queuing is not accessible for you, please speak to a member of staff and we can make alternative arrangements with you.
If you are coming to do research in the library, we have assistive equipment, which you can request from the library Enquiry Desk on level 2. Equipment includes:
- an electronically height-adjustable table in the Rare Materials Room
- a joystick-style ergonomic ‘vertical’ mouse or cordless trackball mouse
- adjustable chairs and footrests
- a bookable assistive study room.
If you find accessing books on the library shelves difficult, we can locate and bring the books to your desk.
Wellcome Collection is in central London, and we have several exhibition spaces and a library spread over three floors of our building. Some areas can be busy and loud, especially the Atrium at the entrance. Other areas upstairs are often much quieter. Ask staff if you need help finding a calmer space.
This visual story explains how to get to Wellcome Collection, and what to expect from our ‘Being Human’ exhibition.