Cognitive Disabilities

A park ranger using a ship manifest document to teach about immigration to a crowd.
A park ranger shows visitors a ship manifest to teach about immigration.


Ranger Programs

All ranger programs strive to engage multiple senses and learning styles. Programs often utilize tactile objects that have been historically recreated from the Ellis Island peak years of 1892-1924. As visual aids, rangers also utilize many of the oversized photographs and ship manifests found on tripods and tables within the galleries.

Audio Tour

A portable audio tour program is available in a variety of languages. It includes historical accounts on the immigrant experience. The audio tour details how immigrants would have stored their baggage upon arrival, how inspectors would have held immigrants to certain health, intellengence, and criminal history standards, and it describes how immigrants were reunited with family members once entry to the United States was approved. The audio tour program is primarily used as a guide throughout the Baggage Room (Level 1) and the Registry Room (Level 2). Additional galleries such as New Eras of Immigration, The Peopling of America 1550-1890, and Through America's Gate have audio narration integrated into the exhibits.


Films and Exhibits

Our 30-minute open-captioned film “Island of Hope, Island of Tears” provides a good introduction on the creation of Ellis Island, how inspectors processed immigrants arriving to the United States, and details the restoration process of the 1980’s. This film can be viewed in Theater 1 adjacent to the Baggage Room, or within Theater 2 adjacent to the Registry Room. The film runs every 30 minutes, and alternates between theaters. Consult the Information Desk attendant in the Baggage Room for the next showing available. Several exhibits inside the Baggage Room and inside The Great Hall are tactile. This includes models of the immigration buildings (Baggage Room- Level 1) and a sculpture of Annie Moore. Annie Moore was Ellis Island’s first immigrant to arrive on January 1, 1892.


Noises and Quiet Spaces

Throughout the year, the volume of visitor traffic varies from the spring, summer, fall, and winter seasons. The peak season is from May through September. Visitors should be prepared to encounter large crowds inside the museum, especially in the Registry Room (Great Hall), where loud noises can echo throughout the area.

Ellis Island does not have a PA system. However, in the event of an emergency, the fire alarm can be heard throughout the monument. Park Police Officers and Park Rangers will be on hand to assist visitors in an emergency situation.

There are numerous resting areas and benches located outside near the ferry dock, on the patio of the Ellis Island Café, and throughout the Wall of Honor. Views of New York's Upper Bay and Manhattan can be seen throughout the outside grounds. For those visitors looking for a total quiet space, the Bob Hope Memorial Library can offer a break from all loud noises. It is located on the third floor of the museum.


Last updated: October 7, 2018

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Receiving Office
1 Ellis Island

Jersey City, NJ 07305


212 363-3200

Contact Us