Multi-site Museum Accessibility Project Resources

Access Multi-site Museum Accessibility Project resources by clicking on the titles below.

Focus Group Guide (Training PowerPoint, Protocol, Release Form, Evaluation Form)
This guide offers comprehensive information that museum staff can adapt to conduct their own focus groups with visitors who are blind/have low vision. Included in this toolkit are PDF and Word versions of: (1) a focus group guide/script, (2) pre-focus group questionnaire, and (3) a release form for participants.

Training for Disability and Inclusion for Museums and Cultural Institutions (PowerPoint)
This versatile 60-slide PowerPoint presentation, titled Disability and Inclusion Training for Museums and Cultural Institutions, instructs museum staff and educators on disability and inclusion theories and best practices. The presentation provides: an overview of disability rights legislation, social perceptions of disability throughout stages of the disability right movement, and basic strategies for museums to welcome people with various disabilities, including physical, behavioral, and intellectual disabilities. The presentation also describes programming and assistive technologies (including Universal Design) that the museum can incorporate to advance its accessibility.

Verbal Description Training (PowerPoint)
This 35-slide PowerPoint presentation trains museum staff and educators on how to provide verbal description to visitors who are blind/have low vision. This resource also offers four suggestions for listening and writing exercises that will familiarize museum staff with verbal descriptions of art. The resource concludes with a feedback survey for the presentation.

Writing Verbal Description Audio Tours
This resource offers a history and overview of verbal description. It also provides guidance for drafting verbal description and provides examples.

Guide to Conducting Formative Evaluation (PDF)
This resource is designed to help museum educators understand how to conduct a formative evaluation, a process that will help improve their art or history programs accessibility for people with visual impairments. Included are thorough instructions that museum professionals can apply to make meaningful adaptations to improve their institution’s accessibility.

Webinar on Conducting a Formative Evaluation (Media)
This webinar provides an audio/visual accompaniment to the Guide to Conducting Formative Evaluation. The webinar explains how museum staff can evaluate the accessibility of their existing programs. The webinar also describes how to conduct a formative evaluation that will improve accessibility to blind/low vision visitors.

Inclusion Toolkit 1: Inclusion Pulse Check
The ABS Inclusion “Pulse Check” Toolkit #1 is designed to help museum staff and educators assess their institution’s inclusive practices and their website’s current level of accessibility to people who are blind/have low vision. Staff will also learn how to develop a strategy to solicit stakeholder feedback on inclusion.

Inclusion Toolkit 2: Top Notch Customer Service
The ABS Inclusion “Top-Notch Customer Service” Toolkit #2 educates museum staff on the needs of visitors who are blind/have low vision and/or other disabilities. The toolkit addresses barriers to inclusion, and instructs staff on next steps for developing inclusive programming. Quick tips for interacting with people with visual, hearing, intellectual, and behavioral disabilities are also included.

Inclusion Toolkit 3: Inclusive Experiences
The ABS Inclusion “Inclusive Experiences” Toolkit #3 advises museum staff on how to increase their institution’s accessibility by introducing how adaptive technology such as audio description, captioning, and tactile experiences can be implemented into existing programs. The toolkit also includes FAQs on audio description and closed captioning; Quick Tips for enhancing accessibility; and slideshows on disability awareness and verbal description trainings.

Inclusion Toolkit 4: Programming, Facilities, Marketing, & More
The ABS Inclusion “Programming, Facilities, & More” Toolkit #4 helps museum staff integrate the principles of accessibility and inclusion to their workplace. This toolkit includes instructional materials on the different roles of a museum’s various departments in implementing accessible practices. Also included are Quick Tips and Additional Resources for integrating inclusive practices into staff’s existing responsibilities.

Advice for Museums: On Implementing Accessibility (Video)
Cynthia Overton, Accessibility Advocate and Senior Research Analyst, American Institutes of Research, explains what museums and other cultural institutions should know when implementing accessibility.

Google and Accessibility: Piotr Adamczyk, Google Cultural Institute (Video)
Piotr Adamczyk, Program Manager, Google Cultural Institute, describes Google technology and programs that museums can use to increase access for all to art and culture.

ADA UPDATE 2013: Attorney Ed O’Callaghan (Video)
Ed O’Callaghan, Partner at Clifford Chance and former Asst. U.S. Attorney, answers questions on the current state of ADA compliance for cultural institutions and businesses. Recorded by Art Beyond Sight, May 2013.

Advice for Museums: Serving Visitors with Hearing Loss (Video)
Arlene Romoff, advocate for people with hearing loss and author of Listening Closely: A Journey to Bilateral Hearing offers advice to museums on serving visitors.

Aimee Mullens: Accessibility as the New Normal (Video)
Aimee Mullens, athlete, fashion icon, actor, design innovator and advocate, offers advice on how museums should think of accessibility as the new normal in society.

Advice for Museums: Reaching Art Patrons with Disabilities (Video)
Tahra Grant, Sr. Acct. Executive at Rubenstein Communication & Art Beyond Sight Board Member, offers advice to museums. Presented at the Museum of Modern Art, May 2, 2013 at the ABS/Project Access New York symposium.

Accessibility in Practice (CC) (Video)
Panel session at the symposium ABS/Project Access New York City: Best Practices for Inclusion in the Arts, May 2, 2013, Museum of Modern Art. Panelists: Francesca Rosenberg, MoMA; Jacqueline Martinez, New York Botanical Garden; Wema Harris, Brooklyn Children’s Museum; Lisa Carling, Theatre Development Fund; Franklin Vagnone, Historic House Trust of New York City.

Universal Design with Mobile Devices (CC) (Video)
A panel session at the symposium ABS/Project Access New York City: Best Practices for Inclusion in the Arts, May 2, 2013, Museum of Modern Art, New York. Panelists: Matthew Kaplowitz, Bridge Multimedia; Nancy Proctor, Smithsonian Institution; Cynthia Overton, American Institutes for Research.

Access Possibilities Through Emerging Technologies (CC) (Video)
A panel session at the symposium Art Beyond Sight/Project Access New York City: Best Practices for Inclusion in the Arts, May 2, 2013, Museum of Modern Art, New York. Panelists: Nina Levent, Art Beyond Sight; Andrea Durham, Museum of Science, Boston; Piotr Adamczyk, Google Cultural Initiative; Scott Harmon, 3D Systems/Geomagic; Duann Scott, Shapeways.

Verbal Description Demonstration at Guggenheim: Gregory (Video)
Adelia Gregory of the Brooklyn Museum demonstrates verbal description of art within a museum setting. This demonstration took place at the Guggenheim Museum, New York.

Verbal Description Demonstration at Guggenheim: Krantz (Video)
Georgia Krantz of the Guggenheim Museum demonstrates verbal description of art within a museum setting. The demonstration took place at the Guggenheim Museum, New York.

Autism: Preparing Children for a Museum Visit (Video)
Kim Mack Rosenberg, president of the National Autism Association (NY Metro Chapter), on preparing a child for a museum visit.

Autism: Advice for Museum Staff (Video)
Kim Mack Rosenberg, president of the National Autism Association (NY Metro Chapter), advises on creating inclusive museum experiences for visitors with autism.

Autism: Performing Arts for People with Autism (Video)
Kim Mack Rosenberg, president of the National Autism Association (NY Metro Chapter), describes how music and other performing arts can benefit people with autism.

First Person: Hearing Loss and Successful Museum Experiences (Video)
Joseph Gordon, a New Yorker with hearing loss and an avid museum-goer, describes what makes for successful museum experiences.

First Person: How Captions and T-Loops Help Deafness (Video)
Joseph Gordon, an avid museum-goer with hearing loss, describes the features of closed captions, open captions, and t-loops to assist people with hearing aids.

First Person: What is “hard of hearing?” (Video)
Joseph Gordon, an avid museum-goer, describes his hearing loss and appropriate language for referring to people with hearing loss.

Tools & Techniques to Create Accessibility (Video)
A summary of methods used to create accessibility for people with various disabilities in museums and other cultural institutions. Produced by ABS for Project Access.

Project Access Champion: IMLS (Video)
Excerpt from audio podcast “Museums, Libraries, and 21st Century Skills” by Marsha Semmel, IMLS Director of Strategic Partnerships. This excerpt is featured on the ABS web site Project Access for All (www.projectaccessforall.org).

Special Issue of Disability Studies Quarterly, “Museum Experience and Blindness.” (Article)
This Special Issue of the Disabilities Studies Quarterly is dedicated to “Museum Experiences and Blindness.” It includes four ABS articles that address best practices, curatorial perspectives, and personal accounts of museum experiences of people who are blind/have low vision.

AAM’s Museum Magazine, “How Can My Museum Help Visitors with Vision Loss?” (Article)
This article in the July-August 2012 issue of American Alliance of Museums (AAM) is co-written by leadership from ABS and Museum of Science, Boston. The article shares testimonials from focus groups conducted with people with visual impairments in seven museums and tells how museum staff can use adaptive technologies and practices to improve the experiences of those with visual impairments.

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