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Accessibility (Education and Interpretation)

Take a Seat

American Alliance of Museums

Museum explores visitor comfort and navigability in the museum through; seating, labels, lighting, and open captioning. The article urges museums to understand obstacle access, consider accommodation for visitors after fatigue, and design an exhibit with a comfortable environment with which to interact.

Serving Diverse Needs of Communities

American Alliance of Museums

The Alliance provides a handout from its 2013 annual meeting, which explains how to manage and overcome expenditure barriers in order to create and ensure accessibility at small to mid-sized museums. This session’s handouts explore the cost of different accessible programs including those for visitors who have vision impairments, dementia and other disabilities. (PDF, 6 pages)

What Does Universal Design Look Like?

American Alliance of Museums

Museum explores the history, fundamentals, and seven principles of universal design and its application to museum programming.

Addressing the Needs of Kids with Autism

American Alliance of Museums

Museum provides tips for accessibility and inclusivity of children with autism and their families. The article covers training, preparation, communication, and special events.

Visitors With Vision Loss

American Alliance of Museums

Museum provides insight on getting feedback about accessibility of programming, exhibits, and facilities, through focus groups. The article also discusses providing training to staff on issues of accessibility, developing outreach strategies for people with low or no vision, considering changes to exhibit design, and universal design.

What We May Be Art Museums and the Implications Of Special Programs

Clark Institute of Art

Nine educators from art museums across the United States describe initiatives developed at their respective institutions exploring new directions in museum programming for specialized audiences.

Dementia Toolkit for Small Museums

Museums Association (UK)

The UK Museums Association shares the Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery Dementia Toolkit. Based on a research project with the Alzheimer’s Society in West Kent, and Canterbury Christ Church University, the toolkit aims to support museums of all sizes by providing tips on training staff to be dementia friendly, choosing objects and evaluation. (PDF, 25 pages)

Design for Accessibility: A Cultural Administrator’s Handbook

National Endowment for the Arts; National Assembly of State Arts Agencies

The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Office for AccessAbility and the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies provide a resource on how to plan and design for accessibility, legal overview, physical and intellectual accessibility, effective communication, training, and audience development and marketing. You can download the PDF on the NEA website.

Guidelines for Accessible Exhibition Design

Smithsonian Institution

The Smithsonian Institution shares its Guidelines for Accessible Exhibition Design (PDF, 110 pages) which offers information on lighting, color, typography, and circulation routes for exhibits and public programming space.

Resources for Visitors on the Autism Spectrum


The Metropolitan Museum of Art provides a number of resources for visitors on the autism spectrum specifically related to touring the museum. Included in this resource are social narratives and visual checklists.

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