Tours for Visitors with Special Needs

The Kalamazoo Institute of Arts is handicap accessible and visitors of all ages and abilities are welcome. Find information on scheduling tours here.

Touch Art and Connections Tours are supported by the Harold and Grace Upjohn Foundation, EATON and Kalamazoo Rotary.

Touch Art Tours

For Individuals With Visual Impairments
Maximum group: 4 people
By reservation only, schedule 3-4 weeks in advance.
Most tours are one hour in length.

Wearing gloves, visitors will be able to touch carefully selected sculptures in the collection and study collection. Docents assist guests and provide verbal descriptions.

Touch Art Tours are designed to:

  • Develop exploration skills, texture sensitivity and manual dexterity.
  • Increase socialization skills and self-esteem.
  • Engage critical thinking and language skills in a cooperative learning environment.
  • Provide lifelong learning opportunities within a local cultural institution.
  • Support curriculum expectations for history, visual arts and language

Learn more about Touch Art Tours and other activities for the visually impaired in Kalamazoo here.

Connections Tours

For Adults With Memory Loss
Maximum group: 8 plus caregivers
By reservation only, schedule 3-4 weeks in advance.
Most tours are one hour in length.

Adults with memory loss issues like dementia and Alzheimer's and their caregivers engage with the art, the docent and others in respectful conversation. Tours are conducted when the museum is closed to the public.

Suggested themes include:

  • The Five Senses-Art is a feast for all our senses.
  • A Sense of Place-A look at the places we live and love.
  • The Stories of Us-How art tells stories about our lives.
  • America the Beautiful-Art about our country, its people and its history.
  • Ways of Seeing-How artists look at the world in different ways.