You will be able to answer these questions:Why make your museum, institution or site accessible to peoplewith disabilities?Who are your users with disabilities?How is disability defined?What is accessibility? How to welcome different groups of patronswith disabilities?What is Universal Design?
WHY MAKE YOUR INSTITUTION ACCESSIBLE TOPEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES?Institutional PerspectiveEconomic PerspectiveLegal Perspective
Institutional Perspective: Your Accessibility Market – Not Only Museum VisitorsAccessibility is not just for your general public ofmuseum visitors! Your museum should also beaccessible for:…your employees…your board of directors…your funders…your artists, scientists, historians, performers…museum service providers and vendors…anyone who comes through the doors
Economic Perspective: Why Create Access to the Arts?Museums and other cultural institutions cannot afford to lose, or excludeby omission, this large a group from their audience, staffing or fundingbase.• Almost 1-in-6 Americans, or 56 million people, age 5 and over, experience adisability (2009), about 19%.• 56 million Americans with disabilities have an aggregate income of $1trillion, with disposable income of $220 billion (larger than the highly sought-after teen market of $170 billion). Of them 73% are heads of households; 58%own their own homes; 48% are principal shoppers; 46% are married.• 20.3 million of America’s 69.6 million families have at least one member witha disability.• The disabilities of aging – mobility, vision, hearing and cognition – arecategories that will grow as the baby boom generation ages. Half of the “BabyBoomers" over 65 have a disability. The Administration on Aging projects thatby 2030 there will be more than 69 million people age 65 and older. It is thefastest growing segment of the population.
Legal Perspective: Why Create Access to the Arts?Creating access is a legal responsibility, mandated by federalstatutes as well as state and local laws. If your state minimums arehigher than federal, you must meet your state’s codes.Keep in mind that the law outlines only the minimum requirements.
Disability Legislation: Overview• Rehabilitation Act of 1973: Defines the rights of people with disabilities. Section 504 of this act forbids federally funded public and private organizations from excluding or denying individuals with disabilities an equal opportunity to receive benefits/services.• Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990: Sets basic requirements for access to all to public spaces, including museums. Covers physical requirements for buildings/exhibits plus the need to provide equal experiences/learning opportunities for people with disabilities.• Telecommunications Act of 1996: Enables access for all Americans to the benefits of the information superhighway.• Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) of 1994: Designed to protect the rights of students with disabilities by ensuring free appropriate public education to all, regardless of ability. Also provides federal financing to state/local educational agencies to guarantee special education for qualifying students.• State and Local Accessibility Laws provide minimums for public buildings, transportation, etc.
Spirit of the Law: Equal Opportunity to ParticipateThe spirit of the law is that everyone must have an equalopportunity to participate in cultural life. In the best of allpossible worlds, accessibility is transparent and integrated intothe everyday functioning of the museum or institution. It shouldnot be a “special” service. Participation for people withdisabilities should be:As independent and discreet as possible.•Activities, exhibitions and services, as much as ispracticable, should not be segregated from other visitorsexperiences.As complete as possible. The aim of accessibility•accommodations is to provide comparable level of informationand experience as is given to visitors without disabilities.
ADA ResourcesFor more information contact your regional Disability andBusiness Technical Assistance Centers (DBTACs). They providepublic awareness materials, technical assistance, training, andreferrals on the ADA. For more information visit their website: http://www.adata.org/To reach the Center in your region, call toll-free: V/TTY: 1-800-949-4232Copies of ADA publications are available at no or reasonablecost.
HOW IS DISABILITY DEFINED?Paradigm Shift: From Medical Disability Model to SocialModelNew Definition of Disability and Its Impact of DefiningAccessibility“Invisible” Disabilities
Changing View of Disability• Disability is a human reality that has been perceived differently by diverse cultures and historical periods.• For most of the 20th century, disability was defined according to a medical models.• Disability has traditionally been assumed to be a way to characterize a particular set of largely static, functional limitations.• This led to stereotyping and defining a person by condition or limitations.
Disability RedefinedDisability is theworld’s largestminority group and itis one that anyonecan join at any time.
New World Health Organization (WHO) Definition of DisabilitiesIn 2001, the WHO established a new definition ofdisability; it is based on human rights, or socialmodels, and focuses on the interaction between a personwith a disability and the environment. DISABILITY is anumbrella term, which includes several components:• impairments: a problem in body function or structure• activity limitations: a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action• participation restrictions: a problem experienced by an individual’s involvement in life situations
New View: Social or Human Rights Model• This places emphasis on contextual factors and the role played by societies and institutions (including cultural institutions) in defining, causing, or maintaining a disability, or disabling experiences.• This paradigm shift allows us to focus on strategies that minimize disabling experiences rather than “correct” or modify the individual with a disability.
Paradigm Shift: Definition of DisabilityOLD APPROACH NEW PARADIGM• A diagnosis • Individuals with temporary• An person is limited by the or permanent impairments impairment or condition require accommodations to carry out life activities• A medical "problem" • A socio-environmental issue involving accessibility, accommodatio ns, and equity
Paradigm Shift: Strategies to Address DisabilityOLD APPROACH NEW PARADIGM• Fix the individual • Remove barriers• Correct the deficit • Access through• Provide accommodations and medical, vocational, or universal design psychological rehabilitation • Opportunities and education services for a range of abilities• People with disabilities are • Patrons with disabilities get objects of involved as community intervention, research members, advisors, decision subjects or patients makers
New Definition of Disability and Its Impact on Defining Accessibility Disability is a mainstream experience of being human, not something that resides in some individuals. All of us experience some change in ability, whether permanent or temporary. Disability as a contextual experience. Functional limitation is a fact. Disability is a phenomenon of the experience that occurs by the individual intersecting with the environment, including physical, information, communication, social, and policy environments. Valerie Fletcher, Institute for Human Centered Design
“Invisible” DisabilitiesMany people who benefit from or need accessibleaccommodations may not identify themselves as having adisability. WHY?• Changes may be temporary, such as the result of an accident or as a side effect of medication.• Changes are incremental and happen slowly, so the moment when we identify ourselves as having a disability never arrives.• Most people over 60 have or will have “acquired limitations.” As we age, we can’t walk as far, and our eyes, ears, and hands don’t work as well.• The need for accessibility – better lighting, larger print, magnified sound, accessible elevators and bathrooms, or more seating – will remain.
AccessibilityCommunication StrategiesAccessible DesignAccommodations and Enhancements:Mobility, Cognitive, and SensoryAccessible Web
Accessibility Skills: Communication StrategiesPeople-first LanguageCommunication Tips: BasicsWelcoming People with Physical DisabilitiesWelcoming People who are Deaf or Hard of HearingWelcoming People with Autism, Alzheimers and their FamiliesWelcoming People who are Visually ImpairedSighted Guide Technique
People-first LanguagePeople-first language emphasizes the person, not thedisability. Disability is not the primary, definingcharacteristic of an individual, but one of several aspectsof the whole person. Note re: Deaf Culture. Many people who are D/deaf communicate using American Sign Language and consider themselves to be members of a cultural and linguistic minority. Other individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing communicate through listening and spoken language.As always: If you don’t know, ask the person what is preferred.
Common Stereotypes to Avoid• Representing or treating a person with a disability as dependent or as an object of pity• Putting the person with a disability on a pedestal• Representing the person with a disability as having special gifts or abilities because of his or her disability
Communication Tips: Basics• Don’t be afraid to make a mistake.• Treat adults as adults.• Don’t make assumptions about what a person can or cannot do.• Ask before giving assistance. If you offer help and the person says “no,” don’t insist. If the answer is “yes,” ask how you can best help and follow directions.• If someone with a disability is accompanied by another individual, address the person with a disability directly. Don’t speak through the other person.• Expect diversity of preferences and opinions.
Welcoming People with Physical Disabilities• Personal space includes a person’s wheelchair, crutches, cane or other mobility aid. Never move them without permission.• Do not push a person’s wheelchair or grab the arm of someone walking with difficulty without first asking if you can help.• When speaking to a person using a wheelchair for more than a few minutes, try to find a seat for yourself so that the two of you are at eye level.
Welcoming People who Are D/deaf or Hard of Hearing• Ask the person how he or she prefers to communicate.• If you are speaking through an interpreter, remember that the interpreter may lag a few words behind. Pause occasionally.• Talk directly to the person who is D/deaf or hard of hearing, not to the interpreter.• Before you speak, make sure you have the person’s attention and that he/she is looking at you. A wave, a light touch on the shoulder are appropriate ways to get attention. If an individual uses listening and spoken language, saying the individual’s name is an appropriate way to get his or her attention.• Speak in a clear, expressive manner. Do not over enunciate or exaggerate words, or raise your voice.• The goal is communication; don’t pretend to understand if you did not. Ask the person to repeat it or write it down.
Speech- or Lip-reading: Things to Remember• It is important to note that not all D/deaf individuals can lip- read.• At best it is about a 50% guess, with the remainder understood through context. Sometimes words are missed and many words look the same on the lips, such as when forming words containing “f” and “v”, “s” and “z”, “sh” and “ch” and “b”, “m” and “p”. As a result, names of people, places, or things (words that cannot be “figured out”) should be spelled out.• Make sure there is lighting on your face, and keep your hands and other objects away from your mouth.• Face the person directly and maintain eye contact. Don’t turn your back or walk around while talking.
Welcoming People who Are D/deaf or Hard of Hearing (cont.)• If the person uses sign language, and you know any American Sign Language (ASL) or fingerspelling, try it.• If you offer museum programs in ASL, consider training an individual who is fluent in ASL to facilitate your program.• Have staff trained to take calls via relay from D/deaf callers.• If you can provide an Email address for reservations (as opposed to a phone number), this is much easier for many D/deaf to use.• People who are D/deaf or hard of hearing use assistive listening devices, hearing loops, captioned films, and captioned museum tours.• One option is CART (Communication Access Real-time Translation, also referred to as real-time captioning; can done via the Internet). Often, your visitor can voice for herself (expressive communication) and uses CART to understand what others are saying, especially in meetings, classrooms, or large events (receptive communication).
Welcoming People with Dementia and their FamiliesWhen first meeting a visitor with dementia: • Be open hearted. People with dementia respond well to genuine hospitality. • Speak directly to the person. Assume that he/she is capable of responding. • Wait for a response. It takes people with dementia longer to process information, especially when they are in a new environment.
Welcoming People with Dementia and their Families (cont.)When greeting a visitor with dementia:• Make eye contact with the person. Get to eye level. Shake hands upon greeting.• Introduce yourself. Ask, “And you are?”• Give clear directions to waiting areas, coat room, restrooms (one at a time).• Use gesture to clarify directions.
Welcoming People with Dementia and their Families (cont.)When giving a group tour:• Provide a name tag in a large, bold font for each participant.• Introduce the group leader.• Use simple, bold signage to enhance orientation (example: 4th floor go right →). These signs may be generated specifically for the visit.• When moving through the museum, be clear about where you are going. For instance, say, “We are taking this elevator to 4.”• People with dementia do not want sympathy. Include them in conversation and activities.• Listen. People with dementia may have surprising and remarkable insights to share.
Welcoming People with AutismBasics• Autism is a broad spectrum disorder. Some people with autism are unable to verbalize. If a person does not respond to a verbal question, assume they understood you, but may not be able to speak.• If possible, offer another means of communication, such as pen/paper, or an iPad.• Many people with autism have auditory processing issues. Do not give multi-step commands or use run-on sentences. Straightforward, clear remarks are best.• Some people with autism are sensitive to touch, and some may react with intensity when touched. Museum staff and security should be aware of this.
Welcoming People with Autism (cont.)Stimming• Many people with autism appear disconnected, may not make eye contact, and may have stereotypy (“stims”) such as handclapping or rocking (and some have verbal stims). Do not assume that they are not taking everything in; they are.• People may stim for a variety of reasons, such as because they are in an unfamiliar place or are excited. Stimming may be how the person with autism regulates incoming sensory stimulation to avoid being overwhelmed by stimuli. Do not discourage them – unless, of course, it presents a danger.
Welcoming People with Autism (cont.)• People with autism may have visual processing difficulties. In particular, sudden and unexpected movement can be disturbing to them. Security staff should avoid rushing up to someone who, for instance, is stimming.• Crowds can be challenging for people with autism. Museum personnel should know where there is a quiet space to which they can direct families, if needed.• Loud noises can be disturbing and, conversely, low-level noises, such as buzzing from fluorescent lights (which also might flicker) can be bothersome. Be aware that something most people might not react to could be an issue for a person with autism whose sensory system is very sensitive.
Welcoming People with Autism (cont.)Social story• If providing programs for groups of children or adults with autism, develop a social story about a visit to the museum that can be made available to the group or families with members with autism prior to the visit.• Previewing an experience and having a sense of what to expect is important to people on the autism spectrum. See the example in the resource section.
Welcoming People with Autism (cont.)When giving a group tour:• At the beginning of a group visit, set clear parameters and explain how long you will be doing certain activities.• Reminders are important as well. For many people with autism, transitions can be difficult, so letting them know that a transition is coming up is important.• Alert people in advance if you are entering a space with films or videos that include bright lights, loud noises, abrupt actions.
Welcoming People with Autism (cont.)Preparing for eventuality• Have a system in place to assist a person with autism who is lost in the museum. This is particularly important for someone who is non- verbal or has limited verbal skills.• Consider providing special name tags or badges to families/groups that include a people with autism. This would help reunite someone who is lost with his/her group.
Welcoming People who Are Blind or Have Low Vision• Don’t assume that help is needed. Always ask before providing assistance.• Never push, pull or grab a blind person. This can be frightening and it’s often embarrassing.• Don’t shout. Most blind people have normal hearing. Speak clearly and strongly if you know that an older visually impaired person also has a hearing problem.• Introduce yourself. Not everyone recognizes voices or remembers them.
Welcoming People who Are Blind or Have Low Vision (cont.)• Identify yourself when entering a room and let the blind person know when you are leaving. Don’t leave a blind person talking to an empty room.• Don’t leave a blind person standing alone in an open space.• Don’t hesitate to use words like “see” and “look.”• Give explicit directions to a blind person, such as “on your left,” “to the right of your plate,” “three blocks north.”• Do not use hand signals.
Sighted Guide Technique Basic technique: The person who is blind or has low vision holds the guide’s arm lightly above the elbow and allows the guide to walk one-half step ahead. This allows him or her to feel and follow the guide’s direction.
Accommodations Used to Create Equal Access for AllThere are three basic types of accommodations orenhancements that make an environment moreaccessible for people with disabilities:• Mobility enhancements• Cognitive enhancements• Sensory enhancements.Some of them we have already mentioned.
Mobility: Not Just WheelchairsKeep in mind:• Wheelchairs come in a variety of styles and sizes, with many types of attachments available. Only some are assisted by someone who pushes the chair.• Other assistive devices include Segways, service dogs, canes, walkers, and adaptive devices for gripping objects, writing or drawing, or for activities of daily living, such as drinking or eating.
Sensory Enhancements• For those who have difficulty accessing visual information, accommodations include large print and Braille, verbal and audio description, tactile and sound experiences, and magnifying devices and other assistive technologies.• For those who have difficulty accessing aural information or sounds, accommodations include: Sign language interpreters, assistive listening devices, text transcripts, captioning, and descriptive cues.
Cognitive or Learning EnhancementsInformation can be presented in a variety of ways.Examples of alternate representations of contentInclude:• Visual: Images or diagrams, maps, charts or graphs• Tactile: Tactile diagrams, maps and graphics, Braille, other tactile experiences• Auditory: Audio-guides, music, sound effects• Text: Large print, digital media, captioning
Cognitive or Learning Enhancements (cont.) During group tours or other structured programming, cognitive accommodations might include: • Adjustments in pace, content, and choice of language • Allowing extra time for transitions in activity or location • Keeping group size small • Modifying light and sound levels • Avoiding perceptual and sensory overloads
Creating an Accessible EnvironmentUniversal DesignUniversal Design for LearningAccessible Web
What is Universal Design?Universal Design is part of a spectrum ofmaking places, things, programs, policies, andinformation usable by all people, to the greatestextent possible, without the need for adaptationor specialized design.
Principles of Universal Design*• Equitable Use: The design does not disadvantage or stigmatize any group of users.• Flexibility in Use: The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities.• Simple, Intuitive Use: Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the users experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level.• Perceptible Information: The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the users sensory abilities.• Tolerance for Error: The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of accidental or unintended actions.• Low Physical Effort: The design can be used efficiently and comfortably, and with a minimum of fatigue.• Size and Space for Approach and Use: Appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and use, regardless of the users body size, posture, or mobility.
Accessible Exhibit Design Elements• Easy to understand regardless of user experience, knowledge, language skills, or concentration levels• Clear organization of important information• Redundant, multimodal presentations: Pictorial, verbal, tactile, audio• Inclusive, not segregated experiences• Provide choice in how to use and allow user to adapt pace• Minimize fatigue: physical and sensory• Allow size and space for approach and use: Line of sight and reach, whether seated or standing• Adequate space for assistive device or personal assistance
Universal Design for Learning Principles (CAST, www.cast.org) Components of a universally-designed learning environment: • Multiple means of representation – learners have a variety of ways to acquire information and knowledge • Multiple means of expression – learners have alternative means for demonstrating what they know • Multiple means of engagement – learners interests are piqued; they are appropriately challenged and motivated to learn
Accessible Web• Web accessibility means that people with disabilities can perceive, understand, navigate, and interact with a website, and that they can contribute to the Web.• Remember that your whole site, and not only its accessibility section, needs to be legible and accessible.• Web accessibility benefits other users as well, including older people with changing abilities due to aging. Web accessibility encompasses all disabilities that affect access to the Web, including visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, and neurological disabilities.