Robie House celebrates ADA with new aids for tours

By EMMA HERMAN
Staff Writer

In honor of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust is offering free tours catered to those with vision or hearing impairments at four Wright sites across Chicago, including the Robie House, 5757 S. Woodlawn Ave. Other participating houses include the Emil Bach House and the Rookery Building, which are both in the city, and the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, located west of the city, in Oak Park.

The American Sign Language (ASL) tours will be available for visitors who are deaf or otherwise hard of hearing, while the Touch Tours are for those who are blind or have low vision, according to a press release from the trust. Although the tours are free, registration is required and can be completed online at flwright.org. An ASL tour at the Robie House will be held on Sunday, Aug. 23rd at 4 p.m., while the Touch Tour will be held in late October. Tours usually last about an hour, and an adult ticket is $17.

For those with auditory or visual disabilities who can’t make the special tours, the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust offers typed tour scripts in English, upon request. ASL interpretation is available for guided tours but must be arranged at least two weeks in advance. The trust also permits certified service animals to accompany visitors and does not charge admission for an individual who accompanies and assists a vision-impaired guest on a tour.

The accessible tours are the product of a collaboration between the Frank Lloyd Wright Trust, the Chicago non-profit that organizes tours and educational programs for the city’s Wright buildings, the ADA 25 Chicago Partners Network and the Chicago Cultural Accessibility Consortium (CCAC).

The ADA 25 Chicago Network, which involves over a hundred local organizations, seeks to recognize the 25-year anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and to use the momentum generated by the milestone to push for expansions in accessibility and quality of life improvements for those with disabilities. CCAC is a volunteer organization that works to improve access to Chicago’s cultural heritage for those with disabilities.

For more information on the Frank Lloyd Wright tours, call Laura Dodd at 312-994-4005.