Recreation & Culture

MOPD Virtual Activities Toolkit

This is a guide for people with disabilities on accessible things to do from home. It contains activities such as virtual events, museum tours, workouts, performances, podcasts and more. Some of the events are live on platforms such as Zoom or Google Meet, or through phone conferences. Others are recorded and can be experienced at any time. The majority of programs featured on this list are free while others have fees but use a sliding scale to accommodate attendees of all income levels.

Note: The City of New York does not endorse any programs or events highlighted in this guide.

Click a topic, or press the enter key on a topic, to reveal its answer.

Tech, Advocacy and Education

Crip Camp 2020: The Virtual Experience

Join your fellow grassroots activists and advocates this summer for a virtual camp experience featuring trailblazing speakers from the disability community. All are welcome, you do not need any activism experience to participate. Virtual workshops will be held every Sunday at 2 pm PST/5 pm EST from May 17th to August 30th for one and a half hours each. Online workshops will occur via Zoom and are ASL interpreted with Deaf Interpreters plus captioning.
Crip Camp: The official Virtual Experience

Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library (Live)

The Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library is offering one-on-one tech coaching, a weekly Braille study group, virtual visits where your class or company team can learn about accessible technology, virtual tactile graphics design lessons and a range of online gatherings including tech workshops and book groups.

Email heiskelltech-subscribe@googlegroups.com if you would like to receive announcements about upcoming activities.

To arrange one-on-one coaching, suggest a workshop, volunteer your time or learn more about the Andrew Heiskell Braille and Talking Book Library Tech Team, please email chanceyfleet@nypl.org or call them at 212-621-0627.

American Foundation for the Blind:

AFB Virtual Conference (Live/Recorded):

The American Foundation for the Blind has moved their annual conference to virtual space. This conference features sessions on remote learning, inclusive remote working, assistive technology and more. Sessions are live and then archived for you to listen at your convenience. All sessions are audio described and captioned.
AFB Virtual Conference page.

AFB Hellen Keller Virtual Archive (Virtual gallery):

You can explore the first ever fully accessible Digital Helen Keller Archive — the world's largest repository of letters, speeches, press clippings, scrapbooks, photographs, architectural drawings, artifacts and audio-video materials relating to Helen Keller.
Keller was a feminist, a suffragist, a social activist, and a pacifist, as well as a prolific writer and published author. May she continue to serve as an example to us all.
Hellen Keller Virtual Archive

Museums and Art

Below is a selection of live and recorded museum tours. Live events are held on virtual platforms or on phone conferences. Recorded content can be accessed on the museum website or on platforms such as Sound Cloud.

Smithsonian Museum’s Audio Description of Presidential Portraits (Recorded)

The Portrait Gallery has developed audio descriptions of select portraits from our signature exhibition, “America’s Presidents.” Designed for people who are blind or have low vision, these descriptions use precise, evocative language to convey the visual appearance of art, and are equally valuable for sighted visitors seeking closer observation. We will continue to add to this list over time.
Audio Description of Presidential Portraits

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Live)

The Met will be holding tours for visitors who are blind or partially sighted, visitors with dementia and visitors with developmental disabilities and those on the autism spectrum. The programs are held live on virtual platforms. To find the next scheduled program visit the Met Access page. You can also checkout the Met Access Facebook page for more content.

The Guggenheim Museum

Guggenheim Verbal Description Tours (Live)

The Access department at the Guggenheim Museum has a series of upcoming virtual verbal description tours for folks who are blind or have low vision.
Email: access@guggenheim.org
Voice Phone: 212-360-4355.
Guggenheim Website

Guggenheim Online Verbal Descriptions from the Thannhauser Collection (Recorded)

The Guggenheim has a Verbal Description audio guide of select works from the Thannhauser Collection on Guggenheim.org and SoundCloud. Designed for people who are blind or have low vision, Verbal Description uses precise, evocative language to convey the visual appearance of art, which is equally valuable for sighted visitors seeking closer observation of works of art. The Thannhauser guide includes descriptions, contextual information for key artworks from the Collection, a history of the collection and a description of the gallery space that holds it. The audio is freely available to stream from home.
Verbal Description for the Guggenheim Thannhauser Collection

The Whitney Museum of American Art

The Whitney Museum Verbal Description Calls (Live)

The Access and Community Programs department at the Whitney holds verbal description tours over phone conferences once a month.
Voice Phone: 646-666-5574
Email: accessfeedback@whitney.org
Whitney Access Programs Page

The Whitney Museum of American Art Audio Guides and ASL Videos (Recorded)

The Whitney Museum has online audio guides and videos in American Sign Language featuring insights from artists, curators, and other notable experts. With guides available for kids, videos in ASL, accessible transcripts, and Spanish translations, there's something for everyone to enjoy.
Whitney Museum Audio Guides
Whitney Museum ASL Information

New York City Parks (Virtual gallery)

NYC Parks Public Art Map (Virtual gallery)

New York City Parks has created a map of public art installations across NYC. The map has been enhanced for accessibility and parts of the collection have detailed descriptions of the art as well as rich historical facts.
NYC Public Art Map

NYC Parks Disability Awareness Online Exhibition (Virtual gallery)

The Poe Park Visitor Center proudly presents a Disability Awareness Virtual Exhibition. The exhibition features moving, powerful, and thought-provoking works from emerging and established artists living with physical, mental, neurological, and/or emotional conditions. All works of art featured in this virtual exhibition are described for blind visitors using alt-text.
NYC Parks Disability Awareness Virtual Exhibition

Deaf NYC List of ASL Tours (Live)

Deaf NYC has a list of ASL events and museum tours in ASL that is regularly updated.
Deaf NYC All Events webpage

Performances and Podcasts

Below is a selection of recorded performances and podcasts. It includes audio productions made for radio, theater performances that were recorded live as well as disability talk shows. They are available on the publisher's website or on popular podcast platforms.

Alvin Ailey's Revelations with Audio Description:

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts has audio described Alvin Ailey’s signature masterpiece, 'Revelations.' It is available on their YouTube Channel for a limited time. The piece pays homage to and reflects African-American cultural heritage, which Ailey considered one of America’s richest treasures – "sometimes sorrowful, sometimes jubilant, but always hopeful."
Alvin Ailey's Revelations Audio described on Youtube

WNYC Shakespeare's Richard II Radio Dramatization (Live)

WNYC In Collaboration with The Public Theater will be airing free Shakespeare on the Radio. Saheem Ali directs this radio adaptation of Richard II, the Bard's take on how the title monarch lost his crown. André Holland (Moonlight) stars, and the supporting cast includes Oscar winner Estelle Parsons, Tony winner Phylicia Rashad and Tony nominee John Douglas Thompson. The production will be broadcast in four installments from Monday, July 13 through Thursday, July 16 at 8 p.m. ET nightly on WNYC. Listeners in the New York tri-state area can tune in at 93.9 FM or AM 820. It will also stream nationwide at WNYC.org.
Richard II on WNYC

Podcasts about NYC (Recorded)

NYC Go has created a website called Virtual NYC where folks can enjoy NYC attractions from home. The list can be filtered by podcasts. Topics include audio dramas, dance, comedy, script readings and public art.
NYC Go List of Podcasts

Theatre Development Fund (Recorded)

TDF has put together a page of sources where people can listen to audio dramas. This includes performances on Audible Theatre, LA Theatre works and many podcasts available on your favorite podcast platform.
Theatre Development Fund Audio Plays

At the Table - A Play Reading Series (Recorded)

This audio theatre series features new 10 to 20-minute plays by emerging playwrights starring New York stage vets such as Kristolyn Lloyd (Dear Evan Hansen) and Alyssa May Gold (How I Learned to Drive). Interviews with the artists are also available. New episodes are released every other Friday. Listen on their website or subscribe to their podcast on your favorite podcast streaming platform.
Listen to At the Table audio plays online

Broadway Records Listening Parties (Recorded)

Broadway Records recently launched a series of online listening parties. Artists involved in original cast recordings and solo albums listen to tracks and then chat about them. While there is a visual component to these gatherings as the artists appear on screen, listening is what's key here. New listening parties are released on select Fridays
Listen to Broadway Records Listening Parties on YouTube

BBC Radio 4 Audio Dramas (Recorded)

The BBC has free audio dramas for anyone to listen to. Audio dramas are performances with multiple voice actors, sound effects and music. Checkout their website and browse their collection.
Collection of BBC Radio 4 Audio Dramas Online

Free Audio Dramas by L.A. Theatre Works (Recorded)

L.A. Theatre Works has some audio performances that are free and available online. Below is a list of some of their offerings. Note: for screen reader users, the play button does not have a label.
M. Butterfly by L.A. Theatre Works
A Raisin in the Sun by L.A. Theatre Works
The Graduate by L.A. Theatre Works
The Importance of being Earnest by L.A. Theatre Works
Lost in Yonkers by L.A. Theatre Works
Park your Car in Harvard Yard by L.A. Theatre Works
Pride and Prejudice by L.A. Theatre Works
Crumbs from the Table of Joy by L.A. Theatre Works
The Hound of the Baskervilles by L.A. Theatre Works

The Accessible Stall – A disability Podcast:

Emily Ladau and Kyle Khachadurian attempt to untangle the giant web of disability. Their podcast features interviews with disability advocates, discussions about accessibility and the disability community. Listen on their website or subscribe on your favorite podcast platform.
The Accessible Stall Website

The Bright Sessions Science fiction Podcast (Recorded)

The Bright Sessions is a science fiction podcast that follows a group of therapy patients. But these are not your typical patients - each has a unique supernatural ability. The show documents their struggles and discoveries as well as the motivations of their mysterious therapist, Dr. Bright.

You can listen for free on the Bright Sessions website or on most podcast platforms.

Dance, Fitness and Yoga

Below is a selection of workouts for various disability groups. The list includes dance classes, audio described workouts for people who are blind or have low vision as well as workouts modified for people with mobility disabilities. Some programs are recorded and can be accessed on the website of the publisher while others are reoccurring live events that take place on virtual conference platforms.

Krishna Washburn's Dark Room Ballet (Live):

Krishna Christine Washburn's Dark Room is a Ballet class for people who are blind or have low vision. It is held on Zoom every Monday evening from 8 PM to 9:30 PM Eastern Time. Classes are currently in session and will be held for the foreseeable future.

Participants are welcome regardless of previous dance experience! Krishna is a professional dancer and instructor, with plenty of experience accommodating the needs of a variety of students. While “ballet” is in the name, and the classes are ballet-based, Dark Room Ballet participants develop a broad toolbox of critical skills that prepare them to sign up for an intro dance class in any style elsewhere in the future.

Classes are currently available at no charge. If you would like to join the class or have any questions, please contact Krishna directly at the email listed below.
krishnawashburn@yahoo.com

Access Dance Company (Live)

Learn AXIS repertoire, deepen your yoga practice, discover new wheelchair skills and more with AXIS Workshops Online! We are thrilled to expand our online offerings with these weekly workshops on a variety of subjects, all available for you for you to participate in at home via Zoom. Cost is sliding-scale $0, $5 or $10 per workshop. All classes will be held on Wednesdays from 2:30 - 4:00pm, PST.
Access Dance Company Online Events page

Heidi Latsky Dance Virtual Events (Live)

HLD is a mixed dance company and they are holding multiple events and classes every week. Their events are live and held on platforms such as Instagram Live and Zoom Meetings.
Heidi Latsky Dance Virtual Events page

Intandem Bike (Live)

A group that provides cycling opportunities for people with disabilities has put together a calendar of online exercises, discussions, information sessions and educational opportunities. Checkout their calendar to learn more.
List of InTandem Virtual Events

The Axis Project (Live)

The Axis Project is an initiative that promotes the health and fitness of people with mobility disabilities. They hold weekly virtual events and workshops on Facebook live. Examples include adaptive workouts, yoga, cooking classes and more.
Axis Project on Facebook

Adaptive Climbing Group (Live)

Adaptive Climbing Group is holding weekly events on Instagram live which include adaptive workouts, guest speakers and Netflix movie nights.
ACG Online Registration Form

Blind Alive Audio Workouts (Recorded)

Blind Alive is the home of a complete set of an Eyes-Free Fitness audio exercise program. All programs are completely free for your downloading pleasure -- no strings attached. These programs allow you to stretch, strengthen, condition, and tone your body, all without the benefit of eyesight. All of these programs are thoroughly described with extra supplementary audio and text materials, should they be needed.
Blind Alive Website

Achilles International Virtual Workouts (Recorded)

Achilles International is offering at-home workouts led by an all-star coaching duo, Michael Anderson, (NYC Chapter Director and RRCA Certified Coach) and Francesco Magisano (Para-triathlete and Director of the Achilles Triathlon program). Workouts are posted to the Achilles Facebook Page five times per week and include sessions that emphasize cardio, strength training, stretching and yoga. Workouts are accessible and, whenever possible, feature descriptive video.
Achilles YouTube Channel
Achilles Virtual Training Programs Webpage

Adapt to Perform YouTube Channel (Recorded)

Ben Clark is a YouTuber that has created video workouts that are adapted for people with mobility disabilities.
Adapt to Perform YouTube Channel

New York City Parks Adaptive Workouts (Recorded)

NYC Parks has recorded a workout that is both descriptive and modified for folks with mobility disabilities.
NYC Parks @ Home: Adaptive Workouts with Household Items on Twitter
NYC Parks @ Home: Adaptive Workouts with Household Items on Facebook

Suggest a Virtual Event to be added to this list

If you have suggestions for virtual events that are free and accessible, you can Contact the Digital Accessibility Coordinator