Autism and Other Special Needs

DZS ADA-logoThe Detroit Zoo is committed to accommodating individuals with diverse backgrounds and learning abilities, including autism. Our staff has participated in the Michigan Autism Safety Training (MAST) provided by the Autism Alliance of Michigan, which provided our staff a better understanding of autism, its characteristics, and how to better recognize and communicate with people with autism. Additionally, social narratives have been developed that can be utilized to family members with special needs about the Detroit Zoo prior to visiting. This tool provides colorful pictures, easy-to-understand terms, and a visual to reference in preparation for a visit. It also provides insight to families as to what might be too sensory-stimulating for some individuals, or better prepare the person for what they might experience. We have a strong desire to be autism- and special needs-friendly, and hope for all families to have an enjoyable experience the Zoo!

Download the Detroit Zoo and Autism narrative here

 

  Mobility Hearing Accessibility
Guest Amenities Available for Rent or Deposit Wheechairs and Electric Conveyance Vehicles (EVC)s are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Assistive Listening Devices are available in the Wildlife Interpretive Gallery and Ford Education Center Theater for our guests with mild to moderate hearing loss. Electronic-assist doors are located in the Ford Education Center and Arctic Café.
Rental Locations The Chrysler Main Train Station and Africa Train Station are open for rentals April through October. The Guest Relations Office has rentals available during the winter months.   All restrooms are equipped with an accessible stall.
Other Rental Information Must be 18 years of age or older to rent ECVs. No reservations accepted. Available on a same-day basis and may only be used inside the Zoo.    
Other Rental Information Segways are prohibited at the Detroit Zoo; however, if you have a personal Segway and a physician's note indicating that the Segway is a prescribed mobility device, you will be offered the use of an ECV or wheelchair free of charge. If you would like to have a sign language, oral or cued speech interpreter, please call 248-541-5717 x3750 at least 2 weeks in advance of your tour, education program, etc. Please be specfic about the type of interpreter, e.g., ASL or signed English.  
Safety in the Zoo Mobility scooters/EVCs: Please keep your speed to the walking speed of those around you.    
Safety in the Zoo Adjust and lower speed while maneuvering through enclosed spaces such as restrooms, merchandise and food and beverage locations.    
Safety in the Zoo Park your device in safe locations clear from walkways and stairs.    
Safety in the Zoo In the event of an evacuation, guests may be required to walk certain distances and navigate stairs or narrow walkways. In this case, please have a member of your party assist you or wait in a vehicle for assistance.    
Safety in the Zoo Some attractions require guests to transfer from their wheelchairs or ECVs to the attraction. Zoo staff are not permitted to physically assist guests in the transfer.    

 

Mobility

• Wheelchairs and Electric Conveyance Vehicles (EVC)s are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
• The Chrysler Main Train Station and Africa Train Station are open for rentals April through October. The Guest Relations Office has rentals available during the winter months.
• Must be 18 years of age or older to rent ECVs. No reservations accepted. Available on a same-day basis and may only be used inside the Zoo.
• Segways are prohibited at the Detroit Zoo; however, if you have a personal Segway and a physician's note indicating that the Segway is a prescribed mobility device, you will be offered the use of an ECV or wheelchair free of charge.
• Mobility scooters/EVCs: Please keep your speed to the walking speed of those around you.
• Adjust and lower speed while maneuvering through enclosed spaces such as restrooms, merchandise and food and beverage locations.

Hearing

• Assistive Listening Devices are available in the Wildlife Interpretive Gallery and Ford Education Center Theater for our guests with mild to moderate hearing loss.
• If you would like to have a sign language, oral or cued speech interpreter, please call 248-541-5717 x3750 at least 2 weeks in advance of your tour, education program, etc. Please be specific about the type of interpreter, e.g., ASL or signed English.

Accessibility

• Electronic-assist doors are located in the Ford Education Center and Arctic Café.
• All restrooms are equipped with an accessible stall.