Deaf or hard-of-hearing visitors

We offer a range of facilities to help you explore the paintings, visit exhibitions and come to events. We also offer a programme of British Sign Language (BSL) interpreted discussions on the paintings. Deaf lecturers also regularly deliver talks in BSL. Why not come and join in?

BSL: events
Events for visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing
1 min 43 secs


Presenter: Another programme that has developed to include a wider choice of events is the British Sign Language programme for deaf and hard of hearing visitors. There is now a dedicated British Sign Language Facebook site for this audience and induction loops are provided in key locations around the Gallery. Deaf lecturers regularly give talks interpreted into spoken English as part of the regular adult programme.

Lecturer 1: ... she was the lover of Louis XV of France and this was painted roughly about the same time as this gentleman here...

Exhibition presenter: ... Welcome to the exhibition, 'Picasso: Challenging the Past' ...

Presenter: And British Sign Language introductions to exhibitions can be viewed on the National Gallery website.
Deaf and hard of hearing visitors are regularly consulted in order to create an appealing and innovative British Sign Language programme which reflects their needs and interests.

Lecturer 2: And this exhibition looks at faces ...

Presenter: Visitors have requested after hours private views and social events as well as lectures within the regular adult learning programme.

Lecturer 2: The things that you can all see...

Presenter: A Gallery lecturer introduces the exhibition's key themes, in spoken English, and her talk is interpreted into British Sign Language.

The Gallery continues to find ways to further enhance access to the collection.

Find out about more Gallery facilities and events for visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing


Exhibitions are held in the Sainsbury Wing on Level −2 and in various rooms in the main building. Facilities to assist you include:

  • Audio guides available for the paintings with volume enhancement
  • Exhibition videos and films have subtitles and transcripts
  • Transcripts of audio guides
  • Water for assistance dogs

To order a large print transcript to collect when you visit, phone 020 7747 2885

The collection

The collection of paintings is on Level 2 of the building and entrance is free for everyone. Assistance dogs are welcome.

BSL multimedia tour

A multimedia tour featuring 23 highlight paintings from the collection and video clips with BSL commentary is available to purchase from the Audio Guide desks.

Read more about the BSL tour


To enable access to events the Gallery provides:

  • Induction loops for talks and films in the Sainsbury Wing Theatre, Sainsbury Wing Exhibition cinema and Sunley Room cinema
  • BSL-interpreted talks and talks in BSL
  • Live speech-to-text captioning provided by STAGETEXT

See all BSL events

Information desks

All Information Desks have induction loops


Occasional talks at the National Gallery are accompanied by live speech-to-text transcription supported by STAGETEXT. This service converts the spoken word into visible text, providing visitors who are deaf, deafened and hard of hearing access to live events.

Find out more about STAGETEXT [external link]

Contact us