close
The Kennedy Center

Information for Patrons and Visitors who are Deaf or Have Hearing Loss

The Kennedy Center strives to make its performances and facilities accessible to all our patrons. For additional information or if you have questions, need assistance, or an accommodation not mentioned below, please contact the Accessibility Office at or access@kennedy-center.org.

Assistive Listening Devices

Assistive Listening Devices Symbol

Assistive listening devices (ALDs) amplify and clarify sound by cutting down or eliminating ambient noise. Infrared assistive listening systems are installed in all theaters and headsets may be used at any seat. Headsets with induction neckloops are available for patrons who use hearing aids and cochlear implants with a "T" switch. Ask your audiologist whether your hearing aid or cochlear implant has a "T" switch (telecoil) and how to use it with an assistive listening headset.

Headsets are distributed free-of-charge on a first-come, first-served basis from the:

  • Hall of States ALD Desk for the Opera House and Eisenhower Theater approximately one hour prior to performances;
  • Hall of Nations coatroom for the Concert Hall approximately one hour prior to performances; and
  • entrances to the Terrace Theater, Theater Lab, Millennium Stage, Terrace Gallery, and Family Theater approximately 30 minutes prior to performances.
top

Sign Language Interpretation

Sign Language Interpretation Symbol

Sign language interpretation is scheduled for select Kennedy Center events throughout the year. Search our calendar for a complete list of sign-interpreted performances, or contact the Instant-Charge Services Desk at (202) 416-8529.

Tickets in the sign-interpreted section can be purchased online or by contacting the Services Desk in Instant Charge at (202) 416-8529.

To receive free monthly notices about upcoming sign-interpreted events, please log in to your Kennedy Center account and update your contact preferences or send your name and e-mail address to access@kennedy-center.org with "Subscribe Interpreted Alerts" in the subject line.

The Kennedy Center also offers sign language interpretation upon request. Requests for sign language interpreters, cued speech transliterators, or oral interpreters for non-designated events must be received at least two weeks prior to the event by the Accessibility Office at or access@kennedy-center.org. These requests are subject to the availability of an interpreter and are provided at the discretion of the management.

top

Captioning

Open-captioning Symbol

Open-captioning is scheduled for select Kennedy Center events throughout the year. At captioned performances, an experienced captioner scrolls the text onto a display in sync with the performance.

How do I know if a performance is scheduled to be captioned?

Search our calendar for a complete list of upcoming captioned events, or call the Instant-Charge Services Desk at (202) 416-8529. Designated captioned events are also marked with the “OC” symbol on our performance calendar.

How is the captioning displayed at scheduled performances?

During scheduled events, an experienced captioner scrolls up to three lines of text onto a four-foot-long LED sign in sync with the performance. The sign is placed on or near the front of the stage and a section of seats in the front orchestra is made available to patrons who require the service and their guests.

How do I buy tickets for captioned performances?

Tickets in the captioned section are available in person, by phone at 202-416-8529 or online at www.kennedy-center.org. When purchasing in person or by phone, please notify staff that you need to sit in the captioned section. When purchasing online, click the Tickets button for the scheduled captioned performance, attest to your need for accessible seating by clicking the button with the open captioned symbol, and select the orchestra section. Available seats in the captioned section will be designated with an “OC” on the seating map.

Can I see the captioning from any seat in the house if I buy a ticket to a captioned performance?

No, there is a captioned seating section for scheduled captioned performances where patrons can best see the captions. See above for details on how to purchase in this section.

Can I request captions for a performance that is not scheduled?

Patrons are welcome to request* captioning for a performance or event at the Center. Please contact the Accessibility Office at 202-416-8727 or access@kennedy-center.org at least 2 weeks in advance of the performance you want to attend.

What if I want to request captioning and it is less than 2 weeks until my performance?

Our team will make every effort to accommodate your request*. Please contact us at 202-416-8727 or access@kennedy-center.org to make your request.

Are the captions at the Kennedy Center automated?

No, the captions are scrolled live during the performance by a qualified captioner.

Can I subscribe to a captioned series?

Yes! Please contact our Subscriptions team at subs@kennedy-center.org or 202-416-8585 for more information.

I have seen some patrons using iPads for captioning. Are the iPads available at every performance?

No, the iPads are only available if requested* in advance. Please contact the Accessibility Office at 202-416-8727 or access@kennedy-center.org at least 2 weeks in advance of the performance you want to attend.

I’m only interested in captioning on an iPad. How do I know when the iPads are available?

Please contact the Accessibility Office at 202-416-8727 or access@kennedy-center.org for a list of when iPads will be available.

How can I receive notices about upcoming captioned events?

To receive free monthly notices about upcoming captioned events, please log in to your Kennedy Center account and update your contact preferences or send your name and e-mail address to access@kennedy-center.org with "Subscribe Caption Alerts" in the subject line.

Questions?

Please contact us at 202-416-8727 or access@kennedy-center.org. The Accessibility Office is open Monday through Friday from 10 am to 6 pm.

*These requests are subject to the availability of a captioner and are provided at the discretion of the management.

top

Contact Information

Accessibility Office:

Voice (202) 416-8727
access@kennedy-center.org
Hours: Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Information and Tickets:

Voice (202) 467-4600
Out-of-Town (800) 444-1324
Hours: Daily, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Subscriptions Office:

Voice (202) 416-8500
Hours: Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Group Sales Office:

Voice (202) 416-8400
Hours: Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Parking Garage:

Voice (202) 416-7984
Hours: Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Call 202-416-7987 evenings and weekends