VIEWS: 21 PAGES: 16 POSTED ON: 2/15/2011
Designing Accessible Programs for Museums This resource provides information on how to make your museum program accessible for patrons with disabilities. It contains available published information on museum accessibility. The information is organized under the following topic headings: guidelines for designing accessible services and programs, examples of accessible museums, disability related resources and materials, examples of accessible digital exhibits, resources on design and museum accessibility (exhibition design, signage and labels). These resources are provided for information purposes only, and do not denote endorsement by the National Arts and Disability Center. Guidelines for Designing Accessible Services and Programs 1. American Association of Museums. (1993). The Accessible Museum: Model Programs for Accessibility for Disabled and Older People. Washington, DC: American Association of Museums Bookstore. Available at http://www.amazon.com This publication profiles 19 American museums that have developed innovative programs successfully addressing issues of accessibility. Specific examples include ways museums have made policy adjustments and programmatic changes to incorporate people with disabilities and older adults into their outreach and in-house programs. 2. Foundation de France. (1992). Museums Without Barriers: A New Deal for the Disabled. (The Heritage: Care - Preservation - Management) by Foundation de France, International Committee of Museums (ICOM). Available at http://www.amazon.com Essential reading for all professionals concerned with the architecture and design of museums. This volume provides access to some of the best practice in providing services for patrons with disabilities, and sets out an agenda for future action in museums worldwide. 3. Gardner, L. & Groff, G. (1989). What Museum Guides Need to Know: Access For Blind and Visually Impaired Visitors. New York, NY: American Foundation for the Blind. For ordering information go to http://www.amazon.com This resource offers practical ideas of how to best serve visitors who are blind or visually impaired. A training outline for museum professionals and guidelines for preparing large print, Braille, and cassette materials are also included. 4. Majewski, J. (1987). Part of Your General Public is Disabled: A Handbook For Guides in Museums, Zoos, and Historic Houses. Available at http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICDocs/data/ericdocs2sql/content_storage_ 01/0000019b/80/1c/92/dd.pdf This resource is probably the most widely used resource of its kind. This guide offers a progressive stance of how thoughtful preparation for general accessibility can ease anxieties of staff and visitors, and enhance the museums appeal to a more diverse audience. It is particularly useful in offering no-cost suggestions of how to adapt a tour to respond to the needs of certain disability groups. Each section gives a brief description of the disability, effects of the disability to consider, terminology tips, procedures in case of an emergency, factors to consider and practice exercises to check if your tour reflects careful adaptation in regards to a specific disability. 5. National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and National Endowment for the Arts (1994). Design for Accessibility: An Arts Administrator's Guide. Washington, DC: NASAA. Available at http://www.arts.gov/resources/accessibility/Planning/index.html This extensive working document offers suggestions on how best to comply with Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. It addresses ways of making access an integral part of an organization and provides successful examples of efforts made by regional, state and local art groups. Major sections include: creating your organization design for accessibility; access education; networking and technical assistance; documenting, initiatives and resources. 6. National Endowment for the Arts. (2003). Design for Accessibility: A Cultural Administrator's Handbook. Washington, DC: National Endowment for the Arts. Available at http://arts.endow.gov/resources/accessibility/pubs/DesignAccessibility .html This resource is designed to help you not only comply with Section 504 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, but to assist you in making access an integral part of your organization's plan. 7. Salmen, J. (1998). Everyone's Welcome: The Americans with Disabilities Act and Museums. Washington, DC: American Association of Museums Bookstore. Available at http://www.aam- us.org/sp/awd.cfm This is a manual for museum professionals and designers to help them better understand the requirements for the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It details the ADA requirements, and provides recommendations for voluntary compliance with the law, to ensure that museums communicate effectively with all visitors. 8. Siller, M., Joffee, E. (1997). Reaching Out: A Creative Guide for Designing Cultural Programs and Exhibits for Persons Who are Blind and Visually Impaired. New York, NY: American Foundation for the Blind. For ordering information go to the Access and Advocacy section at http://www.afb.org/store/ This video and accompanying manual is a creative package for making information on cultural programs and facilities accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired. Part 1 offers examples of accessibility programming and shows the interaction between visually impaired visitors and their environments in museums, libraries, and other cultural facilities. Part 2 describes how organizations can prepare and train their staff and volunteers to provide accessible environments and programs. Some Examples of Accessible Museums and their Programs 1. The Tactual Museum http://www.tactualmuseum.gr/indexe.htm The Tactual Museum was founded in 1984 and gives the visually impaired the opportunity to come in touch with ancient Greek Culture. The Tactual Museum provides the opportunity for all visitors to touch all the Exhibits that are copies of the originals displayed in other museums of our country. 2. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) http://www.metmuseum.org/events/visitorsdisabilities/ The MET is committed to making its collections, programs, information, and services accessible and inclusive to all audiences. For visitors with visual impairments, they offer touch tours, verbal imaging tours, large print and Braille labels, and workshops. Touch and Explore is an offsite program bringing art education to schools with visually impaired children. A range of programs, including gallery talks, lectures, and family programs, are Sign Language interpreted on a regular basis. Lectures with Real Time captioning are also offered regularly. Discoveries are a weekend family program for people of all ages with developmental disabilities. The MET won the 2003 Museum Accessibility Award from the American Association of Museums for its Picture This workshop, a museum program designed for people with visual impairments. 3. The Smithsonian Institution http://www.si.edu/visit/visitors_with_disabilities.htm The Smithsonian Institution publishes the Smithsonian Guidelines for Accessible Exhibition Design (1996) a free guide for visitors with disabilities with information on access features in each individual museum. In addition to publishing exemplary books, the Smithsonian Accessibility Program has done a superlative job of supporting access in its many museums. They produce outstanding training sessions throughout the staff and work closely with the development of each exhibit. The Sakler Gallery at the Smithsonian was the 1998 winner of the AAM Access Award. 5. The Legion of Honor Museum http://www.famsf.org/legion/visiting/subpage.asp?subpagekey=10 The Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco can prearrange tours with experienced Access Docents. Tours include one on one which visitors who are blind may touch approximately ten of the museum's works of art. For popular exhibits, Access Days are designated for times when the museum is less crowded. For the permanent collection, there is an audio tour and a printed edition of the recording for deaf visitors. Audio tours are also available for many temporary exhibitions. Sign language interpreters are provided with advanced notice. Queens Museum of Art 6. http://www.queensmuseum.org/events/special-needs ArtAccess is a unique program of the Queens Museum of Art designed specifically for visitors with special needs. Launched in 1983 at the Queens Museum of Art as Please Touch to provide art education for the visually impaired, ArtAccess has since grown into a nationally reproduced model program designed to allow audiences with diverse abilities to enjoy a personal connection to works of art. The museums commitment to working with children and adults with varying abilities was recognized in 2008 when the ArtAccess program received the Mayor’s Award to commemorate the 18-year anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). 7. The Museum of Fine Arts http://www.mfa.org/visit/index.asp?key=10 The Museum of Fine Arts offers ‘Feeling for Form,’ a program that provides access for visitors of all ages who are blind or have low vision. Volunteers are trained to introduce participants to selected objects in the Museum's collections. Listening devices are available for lectures and films—no reservations are needed. Also available are tours followed by art-making workshops and painting tours with audio description. Presentations in American Sign Language are also available for a selection of gallery tours, performances, and demonstrations. They were the 1995 winner of the AAM Accessibility Award. 8. The Museum of Modern Art http://www.moma.org/learn/programs/access The Museum of Modern Art won the 2000 Access Innovation in the Arts Award. This award was presented by the VSA Arts and Metropolitan Life Foundation to recognize the museum for its innovations in developing programs to serve those who are blind and visually impaired. In 2007, MoMA received the Ruth Green Advocacy Award from the League for the Hard of Hearing. The museum offers touch tours for blind and partially sighted visitors to experience a selection of sculptures, paintings, and design objects from the collection. Art courses for blind and partially sighted visitors featuring the work of influential modern and contemporary artists are held periodically at the Museum. Each class includes touch tours, tactile diagrams, enlarged color reproductions, and hands-on activities. 9. Museum of Science http://www.mos.org/visitor_info/accessibility The Museum of Science offers Braille for specific exhibitions. The Museum has launched a pilot program featuring talking Signs, an infrared communications system which transmits audio messages to help visitors navigate the museum. Examples of Accessible Digital Exhibits 1. Dayton Art Institute for Arthttp://tours.daytonartinstitute.org/accessart/ The Dayton Art Institute offers an accessible internet museum tour of the institute's permanent collection presented through a variety of internet technologies for people of diverse abilities. Access Art provides all visitors with an informative and absorbing experience equal to or better than what they might have in the museum's galleries. 2. The Tate Digital Project IMAP http://www.tate.org.uk/imap/ The Tate Digital Project IMAP is an online art resource designed for visually impaired people with a general interest in art, art teachers and their visually impaired pupils. It incorporates text, audio, image enhancement and deconstruction, animation and raised images. Rather than examining the entire artwork at once, i-Map introduces detail in a carefully planned sequence, gradually building towards an understanding of the work as a whole. Disability Related Resources and Materials 1. A Step by Step Guide to Building Accessible Arts in California http://nadc.ucla.edu/10steps.cfm A Step by Step Guide to Building Accessible Arts in California was designed by the NADC to assist the arts community as they make their space, programs, and activities available to approximately 5 million Californians with disabilities. Topics covered in this publication include: how the law applies to your organization, patrons, and audiences; conduct an ADA survey of your facility; adopt a policy statement about your organizations commitment to accessibility; train your staff; implement your ADA plan; and promote and advertise your accessibility. 2. Communicating with and about Individuals with Disabilities http://nadc.ucla.edu/Communic.cfm is a resource listing that includes books, articles, and videos that provide suggestions on how to communicate with and write about people with disabilities in a respectful way. 3. Universal Access http://ed-resources.net/universalaccess/ addresses issues related to access to museum web sites by people with disabilities. 4. Disability and Business Technical Assistance Centers http://wdcrobcolp01.ed.gov/Programs/EROD/org_list.cfm?category_c d=DBT provide public awareness, technical assistance and referrals on the ADA. Copies of ADA publications are available as well 5. The National Information Center for Children and Youth with Disabilities http://www.nichcy.org/Pages/Home.aspx offers resource sheets about disability related organizations in your state. They serve the nation as a central source of information on: disabilities in infants, toddlers, children, and youth, IDEA, which is the law authorizing special education, No Child Left Behind (as it relates to children with disabilities), and research-based information on effective educational practices. 6. State Agencies and Organizations for ADA Compliance and Technical Assistance available http://nadc.ucla.edu/states.cfm offers directories organized by state that contain organizations and agencies that provide technical assistance on the ADA and the Arts. Information is included on disability agencies and organizations for creating an access and advisory committee or conducting outreach to the disability community. Resources on Design and Museum Accessibility Accessibility Checklists: 1. Arizona Checklist for Assessing Accessibility http://nadc.ucla.edu/AZAccessibilityChecklist06.doc 2. Association of Science Technology Centers provides access surveys http://www.astc.org/resource/access/survey.htm 3. U.S Access Board http://www.access-board.gov They are responsible for developing the minimum guidelines and requirements for standards issued under the ADA and other laws addressing accessibility in facilities and communication. 4. Checklists for Existing Facilities http://www.adaptenv.org/publications/checklist-pdf.pdf The goal of the survey process is to plan how to make an existing facility more usable for people with disabilities Signage and Labels 1. Edman, P. (1992). Tactile Graphics. New York, NY: The American Foundation for the Blind. Order from http://www.afb.org/store This comprehensive handbook is for anyone who needs to present visual information to individuals who are visually impaired or blind. The author demonstrates the production of drawings, tactile pictorial signs, photographs, diagrams, maps, charts and Braille usage symbols using tactile graphics. 2. How to Design with Colors that Contrast Effectively for People with Low Vision and Color Deficiencies at http://www.lighthouse.org/accessibility/design/accessible-print- design/effective-color-contrast This Web page contains three basic guidelines for making effective color choices that work for nearly everyone 3. Lang, K. (undated). Art for the Blind, Art a GoGo , at http://www.artagogo.com/commentary/artforblind/artforblind.htm accessed 4-22-03, is an online article that describes methods, resources and examples of programs that make museums accessible to people who are blind or visually impaired. 4. National Endowment for the Arts and the Graphic Artists Guild Foundation. (1993). Disabilities Access Symbols Project: Promoting Accessible Places and Programs. New York, NY: The Graphic Artists Guild Foundation. http://arts.endow.gov/pub/pubAccess.html his package includes 12 graphic symbols designed to assist museums, state art agencies, performing arts facilities, and other arts organizations advertising that their programs are accessible to senior citizens and individuals with disabilities. 5. Smithsonian Institution. (1996). Smithsonian Guidelines for Accessible Exhibition Design. Washington, DC: The Smithsonian Institution. Download at http://www.si.edu/opa/accessibility/exdesign/start.htm This guide is presented as a working document in which creative resources are being tested in different combinations to find workable solutions. It outlines topics and provides diagrams/illustrations that serve to present the information in a clear and understandable manner. Sections include: guidelines and tools (exhibition content and items, label design and, audiovisuals, circulation route, furniture, color, lighting, public programming spaces, emergency egress, and children’s environments); resources; glossary; and appendix (checklist for publications, language usage, access symbols, list of illustrations, production notes). Museum Visitors with Disabilities Scenarios The following scenarios are based upon a real life experience of a person using a wheelchair in a museum, but have been exaggerated to illustrate the importance and benefit of staff training. As you read the following scenarios think of how you would have been able to address the requests of the visitor. Scenario #1: A person who uses a wheelchair goes to a museum to see a new exhibit with a friend. When buying their tickets the staff member gives the ticket and change to the visitor's companion even though the visitor using a wheelchair paid for both tickets. Once inside the museum, the visitor using a wheelchair asks at the information desk for the accessible route to the exhibit on the lower level. The visitor follows the directions offered to a nearby elevator but unfortunately this elevator does not go to the lower level. The visitor returns to the information desk where she waits fifteen minutes for the information staff to find out which elevators go to that level. She is still unable to get to the exhibit after finally getting to the lower level because there are a few steps to the main exhibit area so she approaches a security guard. The security guard is unaware of where an accessible route is located. The visitor never sees the exhibit she had come to see, and leaves with her friend feeling very frustrated. Next time she and her friend go to a museum, they go to another one. Scenario #2: A person who uses a wheelchair goes to a museum to see a new exhibit with a friend. The visitor with a disability is able to easily approach the ticket office and the ticket sales staff member is able to easily reach across and give the visitor a ticket and her change. Once inside the museum, the visitor using a wheelchair asks at the information desk where the accessible route is located. The person working at the information desk tells the visitor using a wheelchair that the exhibits and accessible routes change frequently. The information desk worker goes to her supervisor to find out the accessible routes and returns to explain where all the elevators, accessible bathrooms, and ramps are located. The information desk worker also tells the visitor and her friend to ask security along the way if they have more questions about where to go. The visitor and her friend follow the directions given and signage to the elevator. Upon exiting the elevator they are told by a security guard how to avoid the steps to the exhibit and enter from the side ramp. The exhibit developer has thought about his visitors with disabilities and made sure there was a ramp, that the exhibit had Braille descriptions underneath, and that the history of the artist was written in large print with easy to understand language. Both the visitor and her friend are so impressed by the museum’s efforts to make the exhibit accessible to everyone that they share their experience with others and return many times to see other exhibits. It is important to use language that is respectful and emphasizes the person, not the disability. This is referred to as "people-first" language and seeks to avoid generic labels such as “the disabled." The following are examples of ways to communicate with and about visitors, artists, and employees with disabilities: Terms Not To Use People-First Language Normal, healthy Visitor without a disability, Handicapped non-disabled· Crippled Visitor with a disability Victim Visitor who has "______" Special (i.e. Down syndrome, Retarded, dumb multiple Deaf sclerosis, quadriplegia, Blind epilepsy...) Crazy, nuts Visitor with mental Mute retardation, a learning Dwarf, midget disability, developmental disability Visitor who is deaf or has a hearing disability Visitor who is blind or has a visual disability Visitor who has a mental illness, mental disability Visitor who is nonverbal Visitor of small (short) stature Birth defect Suffers from Visitor who has a congenital Stricken with disability Born with "_______" Confined to a wheelchair Wheelchair bound Visitor who uses a wheelchair (or any other mobility aid, i.e. crutches, walker, electric scooter, hearing aid) Effective Interactions with Visitors with Disabilities at Museums As disability awareness and sensitivity increases, museum professionals are looking for a way to improve interactions with their visitors with disabilities. To meet this need the National Arts and Disability Center has designed these communication guides to increase the ease with which everyone relates to each other. People with disabilities should be extended the same common courtesies as anyone else, but there are a few disability specific tips that can help you and the visitor with a disability feel more comfortable. Key points to remember: Treat adults as adults. Speak directly to the person, not his/her companion. When offering assistance, wait to find out if they want your help Before you help. Adaptive equipment, such as crutches, canes, walkers, wheelchairs are all part of someone’s personal space. Do not touch or lean on them. Service animals, usually identified by a harness, are working animals and should not be petted or otherwise distracted. At a minimum, you should ask the owner whether you might pet the animal. Ask permission before moving someone or any of their adaptive equipment. Be familiar with the accessible features of your museum (i.e. bathrooms, phones). Don’t be embarrassed to use common expressions that may relate to a disability, i.e. the picture you want to see is… to someone who is blind. Physical Disabilities: Ask a person with a physical disability how you can be of assistance, i.e. open a door, push them, or provide directions of wheelchair accessible routes. When talking with someone who uses a wheelchair for more than a few minutes, try to find a seat for yourself or kneel so that you can be at eye level. Do not lean on someone’s wheelchair. Ask permission to push someone; do not suddenly start moving them. Do not move someone’s cane, crutches, walker, or other aid without asking. Do not distract a working animal. Visual Disabilities: Introduce yourself when you approach someone who is blind and let them know when you are leaving. Allow the person with a visual disability to take your arm to guide them. If you are taking them to a seat, place their hand on the seat before letting go of their arm. Describe the surroundings and the exhibits to a person who has a visual disability. Describe and give directions by using clock cues. Offer large print materials if appropriate. Do not pet or distract a seeing-eye dog. Hearing Disabilities: Talk directly with the person who is deaf, not the interpreter. Talk in your regular speaking voice. Know how to arrange for a sign-language interpreter for tours. Gain the attention of the person with a hearing disability before talking by lighting tapping his/her shoulder or some visual cue. Some people will read lips so it is important to face the person you are talking to and keep food and hands away from your mouth. Speech Disabilities: Speak the way you normally do, not louder or slower. Do not pretend to understand if you do not. Ask the person with a speech disability to repeat himself and then paraphrase what you think he said. If possible ask questions that require short responses. Cognitive Disabilities: Avoid directional terms such as north, south. Use precise language, i.e. follow the hallway through X gallery, the bathrooms are to your immediate left. If the visitor is having difficulty with your explanation or directions, you may want to try different ways of giving the same information. Some people with cognitive disabilities may be easily distracted. Be patient. Some people with cognitive disabilities may be overstimulated if there is too much to absorb at one time. Talk in a calm voice. Tips for interacting with visitors with disabilities have been modified from: Communicating with people with disabilities. (1992). Adaptive Environments Center, Inc. Majewski, J. (1993). Part of your general public is disabled. Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution. The Ten Commandments of Communicating with People with Disabilities (1994, Irene M. Ward & Associates) Commandments 1. Speak directly to the person rather than a companion or sign language interpreter. 2. Always offer to shake hands when greeting. 3. Always identify yourself and others with you when meeting someone who is blind. 4. If you offer assistance, wait for acceptance of offer and for any instructions. 5. Greet adults as adults; avoid treating them as children. 6. Don’t lean on a wheelchair or aid. Do not distract a working animal. 7. Listen carefully to people who have difficulty speaking; be patient. Repeat and paraphrase what you heard and wait for their response. 8. Place self at eye level of someone using a wheelchair or crutches. 9. Tap a person who is deaf on the shoulder to get their attention. 10. Relax; don’t be embarrassed if you use phrases that seem to relate to a disability.
Pages to are hidden for
"Museum accessibility resources _5-18-10_kh"Please download to view full document