ASL ESL Tours English Press Release


Terri C. Smith, Creative Director

Franklin Street Works

41 Franklin St. Stamford, CT 06901

203-253-0404 /

 Award-winning Contemporary Art Space, Franklin Street Works, Continues to Cultivate Accessibility Initiatives 

Stamford’s nationally-recognized contemporary art space, Franklin Street Works, continues to expand their accessibility offerings in 2019 with a recently completed ADA compliant access ramp, sign language (ADL) and English Language Learner (ELL/ESL) tours, and captioning select videos of past artist talks. These new access initiatives focus on texts and tours for Spanish-speaking visitors and improved accommodations for visitors with disabilities. Tours are made possible with the support of the Department of Economic and Community Development through their ARTE Access grant.

The tours will continue during Franklin Street Works’ fall exhibition, “Otherwise Obscured: Erasure of Body and Text,” with the addition of a printed Spanish-language, self-guided tour, and a visual description tour, among other offerings. 

The permanent ADA ramp was made possible thanks, in part, to donations from individuals, First County Bank Foundation, and the Franklin Street Works board. Tours, captioning and self-guided tour translation are made possible thanks to a Connecticut State ARTE-accessible Grant FSW received in February 2019.

Committed to broad public access, Franklin Street Works has curated 33 original shows, organized more than 100 free, public educational programs, and collaborated with 30 partners from New Haven to New York City. Successfully fostering a welcoming and caring community is a reflection of Franklin Street Works’ values of inclusivity and equity.  At FSW admission is always free, and thematic exhibitions create fresh points of entry that connect their mission to publics beyond the art world. Additionally the space has all gender restrooms, insures ample egress in the galleries for those using walkers, wheelchairs or canes, and, when possible, hangs works and monitors at a slightly lower center line to accommodate a wider range of viewing heights.

“We are actively adding accessibility initiatives and, thanks to the Connecticut State ARTE-accessible grant, we are able to give new types of walking tours and are able to translate the fall show’s printed, self-guided tour into Spanish,” adds Creative Director Terri C Smith, “While they are funding-dependent, some of our dream initiatives for the near future include building an ADA ramp to our back patio, captioning all of the video documentation of past events, and installing grab bars in our restroom.” 

For the summer tours, Elisabeth Schifrin will give Spanish-speaking tours and Franklin Street Works Creative Director Terri C Smith will give English tours.  Franklin Street Works is working with Source Interpreting for the ASL tours. Sign language tours will be available in English and Spanish. 

RSVPs help Franklin Street Works plan and they encourage people to RSVP or sign up their group for tours by emailing anytime or calling her cell (203-253-0404) Tuesday – Friday between noon and 5pm. 

Saturday, July 20

Spanish/ASL: 1:00- 1:45

English/ASL: 2:15 – 3:00

Spanish: 3:15 – 4:00

Thursday, July 25

Spanish: 12:15 -1:00

Thursday, August 8 – Lunch Tour

Spanish: 12:15 – 1:00

Saturday, August 10

Spanish/ASL: 1:00- 1:45

English/ASL: 2:15 – 3:00

Spanish: 3:15 – 4:00



Franklin Street Works is a not-for- profit contemporary art space and café whose mission is to manifest contemporary art in a professional and welcoming setting. Franklin Street Works aims to broaden community participation in the arts, contribute to a larger arts dialogue, and cultivate emerging artists. To date, the organization has exhibited the work of more than 400 artists, curated 30  original exhibitions, and organized approximately 150 programs, including talks, tours, and performances. Their work has received national and regional support, including two multi-year grants from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts as well as regional grants from Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, Connecticut Office of the Arts, New Canaan Community Foundation, among others. Exhibitions have been recognized with positive reviews in major publications such as Artforum online, Art in America (online), Art Papers, Modern Painters, The Huffington Post, Hyperallergic, Bomb blog, Art New England.



Franklin Street Works is located at 41 Franklin Street in downtown Stamford, Connecticut, near the UCONN campus and less than one hour from New York City via Metro North. Franklin Street Works is approximately one mile (a 15 minute walk) from the Stamford train station. On-street parking is available on Franklin Street (metered until 7 pm except on Sunday), and paid parking is available nearby in a lot on Franklin Street and in the Summer Street Garage (100 Summer Street), behind Target. Hours: Thursday  – Sun, 12pm – 5pm.



Franklin Street Works has an ADA compliant access ramp going from Franklin Street to the first floor back door, which is always locked. Franklin Street Works staff will open the door from the inside for guests. To request the door be opened, please call the main landline (203-595-5211) during gallery hours (Thursday – Sunday from noon – 5:00) and Natasha or Terri can open the door. Visitors are also welcome to call Creative Director Terri C Smith’s cell 203-253-0404 or email her at terri@franklinstreetworks to arrange entry ahead of time or to inquire about any accessibility matters. 


While plans have been drafted, due to budgetary constraints, there is currently no access ramp to our back patio and getting there requires entering from the nextdoor parking lot, traversing approximately 12 feet of paved lot, then going over a low curb, and across approximately 12 feet of mulch to get to the patio’s pavers. With advance notice, the FSW team can plan to have two helpers assist visitors in wheelchairs to the patio. Note: This means there is no ADA access between the back patio and the building’s interior. Visitors would need to go back through 12 feet of parking lot, return to the sidewalk on Franklin Street and then use the permanent ADA ramp to access the building’s interior.  



Pets are welcome on the back patio. They must be on-leash at all times. There is an on site water bowl that can be filled upon request as well. Service dogs are welcome. Under the ADA, Service Animals must be harnessed, leashed, or tethered, unless these devices interfere with the Service Animal’s work or the individual’s disability prevents using these devices. In that case, the individual must maintain control of the animal through voice, signal, or other effective means. The staff will communicate any relevant information to visitors so that everyone is working together to ensure object safety. Animals whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as Service Animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and are, therefore, not permitted. 

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