The Birmingham Zoo makes every effort to accommodate all students in all education programs. Educational programs are modified or developed to meet the needs of diverse audiences. Education Staff will partner with parents or teachers to accommodate students.
The Zoo’s Visitor Service staff is pleased to assist guests requiring special assistance to ensure an enjoyable experience. Please contact the Zoo in advance of your visit by calling 205-879-0409.
The Zoo’s pathways, facilities and exhibits are designed to provide all visitors an enjoyable experience. Personal wheelchairs or ECVs (Electric Conveyance Vehicles) are welcome inside the Zoo.
The train and carousel are wheelchair-accessible. The Zoo’s restaurants have wheelchair-accessible entrances and table accommodations. Family restrooms which accommodate wheelchairs and companions are located at the Primate Building and at Safari Peak.
Reserved spaces are available for disabled guests in the main parking lot, with ramp accessibility to the main entrance.
A limited quantity of manual strollers, wheelchairs and ECV (Electric Conveyance Vehicles) are available for rent inside the Zoo on a first come, first served basis. Due to the popularity of these rentals, we are unable to guarantee availability or reserve equipment. Rental fee plus a held photo ID as a deposit are required to rent all equipment. Personal wheelchairs or ECVs are welcome inside the Zoo.
The Birmingham Zoo has partnered with KultureCity to develop the Sensory Inclusive Zoo Initiative to improve our capacity to serve visitors with sensory processing needs. As a result, the Zoo has been designated a “sensory inclusive facility. ” The goals of this initiative are to:
In June of 2019, the Birmingham Zoo opened a brand new Sensory Room for guests, in addition to the available tools and resources below:
At attractions which may require visitors to remain seated for an extended time, the Zoo offers weighted lap pads to assist families who have children with sensory sensitivities. These lap pads are available upon request at the following locations:
Sensory Bags containing noise canceling headphones, fidget toys and other resources are available for checkout in the Zoo Membership Office.
The Zoo has designated “Quiet Zones” throughout the Zoo grounds. These areas typically have less activity and spaces to sit and regroup after becoming overstimulated. Quiet Zones are in the following locations:
We have identified noisier spaces as “Headphone Zones.” These areas include:
The Zoo Map identifies the following Sensory Areas for your convenience:
To view the Zoo Map, please click here.
Click here for the social story to assist with your Zoo visit.
The most powerful aspect of the Sensory Inclusive Zoo Initiative is the continued staff training. Zoo staff from each department participate in training sessions designed to raise their awareness of SPDs, inform them about the services provided through the Sensory Inclusive Zoo Initiative and discuss strategies that they can implement in their daily work to help the Birmingham Zoo reach its goal to be “Sensory Inclusive.”
The Zoo welcomes trained service animals, provided that the animals remain properly leashed and controlled. For the health and safety of the Zoo’s animals, personal pets are not permitted. The Zoo does not offer pet boarding facilities.