Accessibility

Morehead Planetarium and Science Center is a unit of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. UNC provides downloadable maps (PDF format) to help visitors locate accessibility features on the UNC campus:

Morehead's Visitor Guide is available online for download as a PDF file (file size is 1.9MB):

This guide includes maps of all public areas in Morehead Planetarium and Science Center, including the location of stairs, elevators, restrooms and other building features.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has posted its Policy on Non-Discrimination for Program Participants and its Policy Statement on Non-Discrimination for employees, applicants, and students online.

Morehead welcomes requests from guests with special needs and/or requests for accommodations. If you have a request for accomodations, please complete the following Auxiliary Aids and Services Request Form.

If you have feedback regarding your visit to the Morehead Planetarium, please take a moment to complete this brief Guest Satisfaction Survey.

For questions, please contact:
Guest Relations Manager
919-962-1236 or 711 NC Relay
mhplanet@unc.edu

Parking

Spaces are designated directly in front of Morehead Planetarium and Science Center to provide parking for persons with disabilities. Curb cuts provide access to sidewalks, which are primarily brick throughout the UNC campus.

The parking lot at Morehead is operated by UNC and served by a gate attendant during business hours.

Entrances

Morehead's primary entrance is on the north side of the building and is marked by "Main Entrance" and "Gift Shop" signs. It faces the parking lot, the sundial and Franklin Street.

  • Serves Morehead's gift shop and GlaxoSmithKline Fulldome Theater
  • Provides ramp, hand rails, push-button door entry, accessible restroom within 15 feet of entrance (left side)

Morehead's west entrance faces UNC's McCorkle Place and is marked by wide, shallow steps and two-story-tall columns.

  • Serves Morehead's "Water in Our World" exhibit, Rotunda, Science Stage, South Gallery, classrooms and State Dining Room
  • Also serves the UNC Visitor Center
  • Provides ramp (south side of steps), hand rails, push-button door entry, wheelchair that can be borrowed during Morehead visits and elevator (accessible restrooms are one floor below the UNC Visitor Center and adjacent to the "Zoom In" exhibit)

Morehead's east entrance faces UNC's Coker Arboretum.

  • Serves Morehead-Cain Foundation offices, Morehead Observatory (operated by UNC's department of physics and astronomy)
  • Provides ramp, hand rails and elevator

Assistive Listening Devices

Morehead offers headsets for assisted listening during educational programming. These devices are available for use in the GlaxoSmithKline Fulldome Theater, Science Stage, Blue Classroom, Green Classroom and South Gallery Classroom.

If you wish to use assistive listening during a fulldome planetarium show, please inform the cashier at least 15 minutes before show time.

If you wish to use assistive listening during programs in the Science Stage or a classroom, please inform the Morehead staff member leading the program at least 10 minutes before the program begins.

There is no charge to use these assistive listening devices for Morehead programming.

Interpreters/Transliterators

Sign language interpretation and/or cued speech may be available through UNC's Department of Disability Services. Please contact Morehead Guest Relations two weeks before your visit to request this service.

Accessibility Challenges

Constructed in 1949 and never having had a major renovation, the Morehead Building can present challenges to individuals with mobility issues. The below-ground areas of the building were not built to modern accessibility standards.

The public hallway that connects Morehead's primary entrance and the building's west wing is a below-ground hallway. The only way to reach this below-ground hallway is to descend a flight of stairs.

The building's west wing houses the Science Stage, Morehead Rotunda, Lower Exhibit Gallery and UNC Visitor Center. For visitors who cannot traverse stairs, the best option to reach the building's west wing is to exit the building, follow the sidewalks to the building's west entrance and use the ramp to enter the west wing.

The below-ground hallway is nicknamed the History Hallway because it has two non-interactive exhibits about Morehead's history:

  • a display of telescopes and other equipment used by astronomy students in the first years that the University of North Carolina was open
  • a display of photographs, artifacts and memorabilia from Morehead's service as a NASA astronaut training center during the 1960s and 1970s
Persons who cannot reach the History Hallway may view pictures of the items and display panels in these exhibits. The pictures are printed on laminated cards bound on rings. One set is in the gift shop, hanging on a hook by the doorway to the stairs. Another set is in a clear plastic wall pocket near the "Zoom In" exhibit and stairs leading down to the History Hallway.

In addition to two exhibits, the History Hallway contains restrooms and a vending machine area.