The Owens is committed to identifying and lowering barriers to access. Although the Owens is only partially accessible, our goal is to have a barrier-free facility within the next ten years. Our resources are adjusted and refined in an ongoing way as we develop and improve access to our exhibitions and programming for all visitors. All Sensory Supports and Access Resources are free and available from the Information Desk.

For more information about Accessibility at the Owens, please call 506-364-2574 or email [email protected].

Venue Access

The stairs to the Owens from the entrance nearest the University Chapel have a handrail. There is also ramp access at this entrance, however, the ramp is steep. The stairs to the Owens entrance off York Street also have a handrail, but there is no ramp. The main floor of the Owens is wheelchair accessible. Our second-floor gallery is not accessible. Two flights of stairs lead to the second floor. LED lights are used throughout the building. The Owens welcomes guide dogs and other service animals.


Gendered bathrooms are located in the basement and are not wheelchair accessible. Two flights of stairs lead to the basement.

Private Visits

If you would like to visit the Owens at a quieter time, or when all staff and visitors are masked, private visits can be arranged from 9:00-10:00 am on weekdays. Contact [email protected] for more information.

An adult and two children walk up the stairs towards the entrance of the Owens.

Access Resources

Hands hold open a glasses case to reveal EnChroma glasses with tinted lenses.

EnChroma Colour-Enhancing Glasses

Three pairs of EnChroma glasses are available for visitors to borrow. This includes one pair for children (ages 10+), one pair for adults, and one fit-over pair for adult glasses wearers. EnChroma glasses allow visitors with red-green colour blindness the ability to see a broader spectrum of colours.

A hand holds out a Kindle eReader displaying a large font version of an exhibition text.

Kindle eReaders

Customizable, large-print versions of all gallery text, including labels, wall text, video transcripts, and catalogue essays, are available on Kindle eReaders. These eReaders also feature Open Dyslexic Font and text-to-speech options. Gallery Attendants can provide support for eReader users.

An adult motions to a screen while presenting an illustration of a person sitting at a computer in their room. Below the projection are white captions on a black background.

Captioning and Transcripts

The Owens provides open captioning for most videos included in exhibitions. For exhibitions that contain videos that do not have open captions, transcripts are available on eReaders at the Information Desk.

For all in-person and virtual talks organized by the Owens, we offer live automated captioning. Closed captioning is available for many videos on OwensTV, with new captions actively being added to the back catalogue.

Sensory Supports

A white canvas bag with a logo that reads, “Sensory Kit” is surrounded by colourful objects, including sunglasses, fidget toys, a liquid timer and cards with emotions.

Sensory Kits for Young Visitors

Our kits contain fidgets, sunglasses, a visual timer, and an emotions chart. Sensory Kits come in a small tote bag. The contents of each bag are coordinated by distinct colourways. Ear protection can be added to your kit if you choose.

A hand reaches to pick up a popper fidget from a small clear acrylic container.


A variety of fidgets for all ages are available to borrow.

A child’s hand holds sunglasses above a small canvas bag with a logo that reads, “Sensory Kit”.


Adult sunglasses are available to borrow. Child-sized sunglasses are included in the Sensory Kits.

A child’s hand holds up a pair of ear protectors with bright blue ear covers.

Ear Protection

Ear protection is available in child and adult sizes.

Social Narratives

Social Narratives, also known as Social Stories or Social Scripts, are first-person guides to new or unfamiliar experiences. Our Social Narratives are designed specifically for neurodivergent visitors, but they also help any visitor to anticipate and prepare for their visit to the Owens. Social Narratives are written in clear, concise language and illustrated with photographs. Currently, we have a Social Story for Families, and a Social Script for Teens and Adults. A Social Story for Schools is forthcoming. These documents are available as downloadable, screen-reader friendly files. Printed copies are available at the Information Desk.