The Aquarium of the Pacific welcomes guests of all abilities. Please feel free to call our guest support center if you have any questions or special needs: 562-590-3100, ext. 0. The Aquarium of the Pacific is committed to going beyond requirements set forth in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to ensure that all visitors are able to experience the exhibits and learn about our ocean planet.
- The Aquarium of the Pacific and its exhibits are wheelchair accessible. Wheelchairs are available for check out free of charge at the Information Desk. Behind-the-Scenes tours are wheelchair accessible.
- A guest in a wheelchair can touch animals in an Aquarium touch pool or request to have an animal brought to them.
- In the Pacific Visions culmination gallery, the interactive tables are at accessible heights for visitors in wheelchairs.
Service animals that accompany guests with disabilities are welcome (for more information, please visit our Service Animal Policy web page). Because it is a free flight aviary, please note that service animals are not allowed in Lorikeet Forest but staff will provide assistance to both the guest and animal. Also, due to animal safety, service animals may not be present at behind-the-scenes tours, VIP experiences, dive immersions, and animal encounters.
Guests who are blind
- Audio tours that are specially designed for guests who are blind are available for checkout for free at the information desk, or you can download them off our Visitor Guide mobile app. The tour is very descriptive and touch oriented.
- Braille visitor guides that are updated for Pacific Visions are available at the information desk.
- Animal touch exhibits around the Aquarium include touch rays, small sharks, jellies, crabs and tidal animals.
- Our Aquarium Visitor Guide app includes Voice Over technology.
- Pacific Visions sensory experiences for guests who are blind include:
- Sculptural, touchable art made to feel like various kinds of coral
- Underwater soundscapes from coral reefs
- Honda Pacific Visions Theater film features smell, fog, wind, and rumbling seats.
- Special sensory devices are available to further enhance the Honda Pacific Visions Theater experience. The Aquarium worked with leading ‘virtual touch’ technology firm Ultraleap to develop a way for visitors who are blind and deaf to ‘feel’ the film using mid-air touch devices. The devices use ultrasonic speakers to project shapes, textures, and effects directly onto the user’s hands. Visitors using the device will experience sensations of bubbles popping, the rush of the ocean, and more. Please request these devices at the information desk. A limited number of devices are available per film showing. The film shows every 15 minutes.
- The CO2 Lift in the culmination gallery provides a tactile representation of the weight of CO2 produced by emissions of various types of vehicles.
Guests who are deaf
- Written descriptions of our shows are available for checkout at the Information Desk
- Exhibit videos are closed-captioned
- Sign language interpreters are available free for tours and programs with four days advance notice. Call (562) 590-3100.
- Listening devices are available in the Ocean Theater. Request these from attendant at theater.
- Assisted listening technology via headset or Telecoil is available in the Honda Pacific Visions Theater. Visitors with limited hearing can check out an RF receiving headset or Telecoil neck-loop. Viewers who are deaf or have limited hearing can also check out portable screens to view captioning for the theater film.
- Pacific Visions sensory enhancements for guests who are deaf include:
- Honda Pacific Visions Theater film features smell, fog, wind, strobe light effects, and rumbling seats.
- Special sensory devices are available to further enhance the Honda Pacific Visions Theater experience. The Aquarium worked with leading ‘virtual touch’ technology firm Ultraleap to develop a way for visitors who are deaf and blind to ‘feel’ the film using mid-air touch devices. The devices use ultrasonic speakers to project shapes, textures, and effects directly onto the user’s hands. Visitors using the device will experience sensations of bubbles popping, the rush of the ocean, and more. Request these devices at the information desk. A limited number of devices are available per film showing. The film shows every 15 minutes.
- Starting at Festival of Human Abilities, January 25-26, 2020, Epson smart glasses that provide closed captioning for the Honda Pacific Visions Theater film will be available at the Aquarium’s Information Desk. A limited number of Epson smart glasses will be available.
For our numerous public program classes, the Aquarium can develop tailored programming for groups with special needs.
The Aquarium wants all children to have a successful and enjoyable experience at camp. While we encourage campers to participate in all activities, our educators are able to provide modified lessons and some accommodations for campers with special needs.
The Aquarium hosts several events throughout the year highlighting people with disabilities. Visit our events calendar for more information on Autism Nights, Abilities Night, and the Festival of Human Abilities.
- Autism Families Nights and Morning are special low-cost evening and early hours where families can go to meet and enjoy the aquarium in a quiet, autism-friendly environment. The spring edition of Autism Families Night features information booths by autism resource organizations.
- Abilities Night is a free night for anyone with a disability to enjoy the Aquarium.
- The Festival of Human Abilities celebrates the creative talents and abilities of people with disabilities. Our goal is for people of all abilities to feel welcome, accepted, and inspired. The Festival of Human Abilities is traditionally held on or near the last weekend of January.
- Aquarium guests are inspired by singers, musicians, and dancers with blindness, deafness, paraplegia, quadriplegia, cerebral palsy, autism and developmental disabilities, and other disabilities. The festival features artists who paint with a brush in their mouth, an artist who paints with the wheels of his wheelchair, a sign language choir, service dog demonstrations, and a SCUBA diver who has paraplegia.
- Free instructional classes are provided by the performers and artists for any guest to attend.
- Every major presentation has a sign language interpreter.
- Exhibits, informational booths, and resources are provided
- An extra behind the scenes elevator is made available.
- The entire first level of the parking structure is reserved for accessible parking.
- This event is free for people with disabilities and an attendant with advance reservations.