Accessibility options

Space Center Houston Now a Certified Autism Center

Space Center Houston strives to ensure that the nonprofit is an accessible and accepting destination. That essential work has been recognized by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards. The science and space exploration learning center is the first of its kind to be designated as a Certified Autism Center by the IBCCES.

The certification process involves rigorous training for staff, inspections and improvements that enable Space Center Houston to better welcome and accommodate guests with autism spectrum disorder and other sensory and cognitive challenges.

Click here to read more

Space Center Houston wants everyone to be able to visit and enjoy our center. Below is an overview of accessibility resources and services.

For more information or specific questions about accessibility options, please contact us at accessibility@spacecenter.org or +1 281-444-2100. For assistance in reserving tickets for a group of 20 or more please contact us at reservations@spacecenter.org or +1 281-283-4755.

General accessibility

  • Restrooms: Restrooms throughout the center are accessible for guests with disabilities. Family restrooms are available in Zero-G Diner.
  • Nursing mother’s room
    • Guide dog and owner stand by plane engine in Independence Plaza

    • A nursing room is available for mothers who feel more comfortable with a private, secure place to nurse.
    • The nursing room is located between Zero-G Diner and the Space Center Theater entrance in Astronaut Gallery.
    • Space Center Houston does not restrict nursing in public spaces in accordance with Texas Health and Safety Code Title 2 Chapter and Section 165.002 “A mother is entitled to breast-feed her baby in any location in which the mother is authorized to be.”
  • Dietary options: Zero-G diner offers a wide variety of foods with cultural and dietary considerations, including gluten-sensitive, dairy-free and vegan options.
  • Bus access: A Houston METRO bus stop is located on the center’s property. Click here to see bus schedules and plan your route.

Lingual accessibility

  • Map and Guide: Guests may pick up a free Map and Guide available in the following languages at the Guest Services Desk or download a PDF version on our website.
    • Click here to view the English Space Center Houston map and guide.
    • Click here to view the Spanish Space Center Houston map and guide.
    • Click here to view the Mandarin Space Center Houston map and guide.
    • Click here to view the French Space Center Houston map and guide.
    • Click here to view the German Space Center Houston map and guide.
    • Click here to view the Hindi Space Center Houston map and guide.
    • Click here to view the Japanese Space Center Houston map and guide.
    • Click here to view the Portuguese Space Center Houston map and guide.

Physical accessibility

  • Parking: Accessible parking is located near the entrance and at a separate side lot located near the picnic area on the left of the main building (while facing the entrance). All parking is $5 per vehicle.
  • Tour access: All NASA Tram Tour trams and Level 9 Tour buses are equipped with lifts. Guests may request this service from a crew member at the boarding location.
  • Center access: All Space Center Houston theaters, exhibits and attractions are wheelchair-accessible, including Lunch with an Astronaut and Independence Plaza. All theaters have ground-level entrances.
  • Equipment: A limited number of complimentary wheelchairs are available at the Guest Services Desk on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Restrooms: Restrooms throughout the center are accessible to guests with disabilities.

Autism and sensory accessibility

Deaf and hard-of-hearing accessibility

  • American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters are available with two weeks notice for guests with hearing impairments. Contact accessibility@spacecenter.org in advance to reserve the interpreter. Upon arriving for your visit, go to the Guest Services Desk.
  • A guidebook with scripts for our NASA Tram Tour, films and presentations is available at the Guest Services Desk.
  • Please note that we do not have a script for the Mission Briefing Center live NASA Mission presentations because the presentations change daily to keep up with NASA missions.
  • Most visual displays at Space Center Houston are closed captioned.

Visual accessibility

  • Braille books and tactile learning opportunities are available through our Space Explorers. Contact accessibility@spacecenter.org.
  • Complimentary audio guides are available for those guests with visual impairments from the Guest Services Desk, when available. Please note that these guides are not designed for those with visual impairments and are not descriptive guides, but help to tell the story of human space flight. The audio guides are limited and guests are encouraged to contact accessibility@spacecenter.org in advance to reserve them.

Service animals

  • Space Center Houston defines “service animal” with the same language used in the federal Americans with Disabilities Act:
    • Under the ADA, a service animal is defined as a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for a person with a disability. The task(s) performed by the dog must be directly related to the person’s disability.
    • Under ADA and Texas laws, emotional support, therapy, comfort or companion animals are not considered service animals.
    • ADA and Texas laws do make exceptions for psychiatric service animals trained to take a specific action to calm a person having an anxiety attack.
  • In order to bring a service animal to Space Center Houston:
    • The dog must be harnessed, leashed or tethered, unless the device interferes with the service animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents the use of the harness.
    • Service dogs are permitted in all exhibits and attractions at Space Center Houston except the motion simulator rides. That exception is due to safety concerns for both our guests and service animals.

Education programs

  • In accordance with the requirements of Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Space Center Houston will not discriminate against any individual on the basis of disability.
  • Space Center Houston will not exclude a child with a disability from its programs unless: (a) the child requires a modification to participate, and that modification constitutes a fundamental alteration of the program; or (b) the child would pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others. This determination must be made on a case-by-case basis.
  • Parents of children with special needs should indicate their child’s special needs on the Medical Information Form (due to Space Center Houston five (5) business days prior to the first day of the program).
  • Once a parent indicates that their child has a disability, impairment or condition, a representative from the Space Center Houston education staff will contact the parent to discuss reasonable accommodations for the child.
  • Space Center Houston provides age-appropriate education programs for students in grades kindergarten through 12th and adults. To learn more, click here.

Special events

  • Sensory Friendly Events are offered periodically with reduced stimulus from lights, sounds and crowds.
  • “One Small Step Together” is a program specifically designed for people with early-stage Alzheimer’s disease, dementia or memory loss, along with a family member or friend.
    • Meets January, April, July and October
    • Programs have included moon rock activities in the Lunar Vault and tours of Independence Plaza and Astronaut Gallery
    • Limited space; for more information, contact accessibility@spacecenter.org or the Alzheimer’s Association at +1 800-272-3900
  • Space Center U® Visual Impairment Program is a challenging three-day program held weekdays for visually impaired students ages 15-18.
    • This pilot program combines classroom theory with cognitive and tactile tasks, which promote teamwork, problem-solving, communication and engineering solutions to space-related situations.
    • It develops and improves critical-thinking skills, fiscal responsibility, creativity and the drive to be successful.
    • Participants meet 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. daily at Space Center Houston
    • The cost is $349.95 for students, $229.95 for chaperones and $69.95 for family nonparticipants who only attend the graduation and Brunch with an Astronaut.
    • Limited space; register by contacting accessibility@spacecenter.org.

Accessibility resources

We provide a variety of resources to help you prepare for your visit and make the most of your experience at Space Center Houston.