Spotlight on Accessibility: The Detroit Zoo

The Detroit Zoo, located in Royal Oak, Michigan, is home to more than 2,000 animals, representing 230 different species. The Detroit Zoological Society, the group that operates the zoo, is a leader in wildlife conservation, animal welfare, humane education, and environmental sustainability.

Beyond such achievements, the Detroit Zoo stands out in the crowd for its dedication to the experiences of visitors with disabilities.

Accessibility Highlights

Entrance: Many of the attractions, including the Ford Education Center, The Polk Penguin Conservation Center, and the Arctic Cafe, have electronic-assist doors for entry.

Restrooms: All restrooms have accessible stalls.

Mobility device rentals: The Detroit Zoo has wheelchairs and electric conveyance vehicles (ECVs) available to visitors in need on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Listening devices: The Ford Education Center Theater has listening devices available for zoo visitors in need.

Interpreters: The zoo has sign language, cued, and oral speech interpreters that can be scheduled for assistance during tours of the zoo.

Map: The Detroit Zoo offers an Americans with Disabilities Act compliant zoo map.


Autism Awareness

Detroit Zoo staff members have completed Michigan Autism Safety Training (MAST) administered by the Autism Alliance of Michigan. This means that the staff are aware of what autism looks like, understanding of the needs of individuals with autism, and prepared to keep children with autism safe.

Furthermore, the zoo offers a PDF “The Zoo and Autism” guide, which walks children with autism through the different exhibits, restaurants, and attractions at the zoo through visual aids. Such visual aids can be helpful for children with autism, because they will be able to know what to expect at each attraction.

Charity Walks

The Detroit Zoo puts on various charity walks every year, which are run by different foundations. One such walk is the Autism Hero Walk, which is a 1-mile walk through the zoo held by the Autism Alliance of Michigan.

Visit the Detroit Zoo today!


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