|Practical Considerations: Step 3|
Meeting agendas should include a balance of these themes: testing any already existing teaching materials with the committee, testing ideas resulting from research, committee discussions, and outreach. Each meeting can focus on a different theme. For example, the first meetings may include a brief tour of the museum and a presentation of the types of services, programs, and exhibitions that are available to the general public.
After that, meetings can be used to:
- Test teaching tools already available for sighted adult or student groups
- Test a sample touch tour
- Practice writing and delivering verbal descriptions
- Test mock-ups of teaching materials, or borrow materials used by other institutions to see how they are used and if they translate to your collection and museum
- Evaluate accessible exhibition design
- Discuss the different accessibility needs for visitors who call ahead versus walk-in visitors with sight loss
- Develop a strategy for community outreach to inform people about the museum's accessibility
Below are a few sample agendas. Feel free to adapt to suit your needs.
Agenda 1: Introductory Advisory Board Meeting
Staff introductions, and description of museum, its collection, and general education mission statement.
What is your relationship to the blindness and visual impairment community?
Member First Impressions
What is your general impression of art education for blind and visually impaired people?
How would your constituency respond?
What do you imagine might be gained?
What would some of the obstacles be? How could these be overcome?
[Perhaps this could be a list of questions to consider before the first meeting.]
Goal for next meeting: Each member should consider the make-up of your particular vision impairment community, which groups (adults, seniors, children, and so forth) are represented, and how the museum might service it.
Agenda 2: Generate Profile of Community, or Communities
Some factors to consider include:
- Age (which age groups are represented)
- Professional interests and affiliations (chapters of national organizations of blind people and artists groups, for example)
- Relationship with the blindness community (parents groups, service professionals)
- Degree of impairment
- Mobility issues
- Educational background
- Experience with visual art
- Past participation in arts programming: visual and performing
- Ability and/or desire to commit to long- or short-term programming
Goal for next meeting: Each member should consider the basic characteristics of a museum program appropriate for your community.
Agenda 3: Define Basic Parameters of Program
Using your community profiles, choose your audience(s): schools, seniors, and all visitors.
What should be the goals of your program?
What part of the museum's collection might be of most interest?
What will be the level of participation: single lectures, to year long, multiple-visit programs?
What is the budget for the program?
Goal for next meeting : Consider how your organization or other community sources could contribute to the museum's program.
Agenda 4: Community Resources
Identify participating organizations and describe proposed type of participation for each.
Identify donors of material in kind.
[Please see the Outreach module in this handbook for further information.]