The Nelson-Atkins


Admission is free.

Access+Ability features over 70 user-centered and inclusive designs developed in the last decade—from low-tech products that assist with daily routines to sensors that stabilize tremors associated with Parkinson’s disease.

Fueled by demand, as well as advances in research and technology, a proliferation of functional, life-enhancing products is creating unprecedented access. Visitors will find innovations increasing the potential for all people to access the world.

Exhibition Programs

Adaptive Sports Field Day
Sat, October 19 | 2–4 pm

Designed WITH Disability
Sat, November 23 | 2–3 pm

People First: Creating Positive Experiences for People with Disabilities
Saturday, December 14 | 2–3 pm

Body Positive: A Design Workshop for All Ages
Saturday, January 18 | 2–4 pm

Gallery Talks

The Art of (Assistive) Listening
Sun, January 12 | 2–3 pm
Repeated: Thurs, January 23 | 7–8 pm

The Team is IN!
Fri, February 7 | 6:30–7 pm
Repeated 7:30–8 pm

Products and Resources

Many of the works Access+Ability are currently in production. If you are interested in learning more about these objects, further information is available here.

For further information on community resources and community partners who helped to inform this exhibition, a list is available here.

Research Guide
Explore resources about accessibility in museums as well as resources about accessible design and the designers featured in the exhibition with this Research Guide. Visit the Spencer Art Reference Library in the Bloch Building to browse a display of these titles.

Organized by Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum.

In Kansas City, generous support provided by Sara and Bill Morgan, The Karbank Family Foundation and The Neil D. Karbank Foundation in memory of Barney A. Karbank, and U.S. Bank Wealth Management.

The Independent Media Partner

Image: Racing Wheelchair, 2016. Designed and Manufactured by Designworks Los Angeles Studio, Newbury Park, California, USA (founded 1972) and Bavarian Motor Works (BMW), Munich, Bavaria, Germany (founded 1916). Carbon fiber, aluminum, titanium, and 3D-printed parts. Lent by Designworks. Photo courtesy Designworks Los Angeles.
© Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum