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Accessibility and Mobile: Radically Changing the Museum Visit (MCN2014)

Presenters: Sofie Andersen, Antenna Lab
(Antenna International); Sina Bahram,
Prime Access Consulting; Museum of
Fine Arts, Boston; Annie Leist, Project
Coordinator, Art Beyond Sight; Anna
Lindgren-Streicher, Project Manager and
Research & Evaluation, Museum of Science,
Mobile technologies are changing the lives
of many individuals with disabilities, while
also becoming ubiquitous in museums
and cultural attractions. Smartphones and
touchscreen technologies have potential
positive and negative impacts on the
experiences of individuals with access
needs. At the heart of this issue are three
concerns: considering how smartphones
are used by individuals with access needs;
determining which features of commercial
mobile devices, apps, and universal design
principles can be adapted for museum
contexts (and how these relate to other
in-gallery offerings); and documenting
what is already being applied to mobile
solutions in museums.
The panel is informed by the industry
trends outlined in recent mobile surveys
and conference discussions, including
Museums and Mobile surveys (2009–2013),
the “Access” issue of Curator magazine
(July 2012), TechatLead 2013, CSUN 2014,
MW2014, WebAim, and ongoing global
surveys and focus groups by Art Beyond
Sight with Antenna International.

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Accessibility and Mobile: Radically Changing the Museum Visit (MCN2014)

  1. 1. Accessibility and Mobile: Radically Changing the Museum Visit SOFIE ANDERSEN, ANNIE LEIST, SINA BAHRAM & ANNA LINDGREN- STREICHER #MCN2014 #A11y
  2. 2. Panelists Annie Leist, Special Projects Lead, Art Beyond Sight & Visual Artist @artaccessannie @ArtByndSight Sina Bahram, President, Prime Access Consulting @SinaBahram Anna Lindgren-Streicher, Manager Research & Evaluation, Boston Museum of Science @astreichs Sofie Andersen, Sr Digital Media Strategist, Antenna Lab @sofieny @antenna_lab 2 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  3. 3. What we’ll be considering today •Why mobile? •Considerations for the museum visit. •Features of commercial devices & apps. •Universal Design. •When mobile is and isn’t the answer. •Recent research & best practices. 3 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  4. 4. Its about the journey – not the destination 4 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  5. 5. Arriving at the a-ha moment 5 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  6. 6. Factors Driving Accessibility – Human Rights Human disability - “an umbrella term covering impairments, activity limitations and participation restrictions.” WHO (World Health Organization) >>Sources: IBM2014 Trends Report and World Health Report 6 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  7. 7. Factors Driving Accessibility - Population • 18.7% of us in US are disabled. • 50% over 65s are considered disabled. • Majority (71%) have ‘invisible’ disabilities - RSI, cognitive and learning. • 85% of us can have ‘situational disability’. • Museums - challenging environments for everyone eg. spaces, exterior and interior environmental factors, ambient noise, dispersed information. » Sources, US 2010 Census, Gartner Market Trends, Andrew Johnson 2013, and “Global Economics of Disability 2013” » Additional research informed by Antenna & ABS Mobile Access Provisions Surveys 2014. 7 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  8. 8. Factors Driving Accessibility - Legislation  UN CRPD (Rights of Persons with Disabilities)  Section 508 - Standards are evolving for web access  ADA (1990) and Telecommunications (1996) legislation for access to museums  Web Content Accessibility (WC3) WCAG. 2.0 – the web needs accessible content and user agents, including AT and AT authoring tools.  WC3 Mobile Web Best Practices 1.0 8 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  9. 9. Factors Driving Accessibility: Tech Industry •Corporations focusing on software and devices. •IBMs Ability Labs (MyNYC App), Apple, Yahoo, Facebook etc. •iOS & Android native and 3rd party assistive tech (AT) functions. •BBC mobile design guidelines. 9 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  10. 10. 10 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  11. 11. Factors Driving Accessibility - ROI Measurable Audiences - corporate & non-profit responsibility can align with ROI. PWDs account for $247 billion US market – almost 1 in 5 people. Access to funding opportunities. Circle of potential engagement – family and friends critical for museum visits. » Sources: “Global Economics of Disability 2013 Report” & US Census: Americans with Disabilities 2002. Mobile and Museums 2013 Survey – identification of visitor engagement and attracting new visitors as top museum priorities 11 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  12. 12. Discovery Phase: Audience Needs How important is color contrast? 91% say very or somewhat >>Source: WebAim Survey Low Vision Survey March 2013, 216 respondents, not 100% answered all questions, all moderate to low vision 61% use accessibility settings/software 12 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  13. 13. IBMs Market Analysis- Accessibility Features 13 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  14. 14. Discovery Phase: Research Collaboration 14 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  15. 15. Annie Leist Annie Leist, Special Projects Lead, Art Beyond Sight & Visual Artist @artaccessannie @ArtByndSight 15 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  16. 16. Who am I anyway? MCN 2014 01 6 • Visual artist and lover of museums and galleries • Special Projects Lead at Art Beyond Sight ‒ ABS is a New York-based nonprofit focused on helping make art and culture accessible to people of all abilities ‒ Part of my role is doing consulting and training about disability awareness and best practices around accessibility in museums and other organizations • Shameless gadget junkie • Member of audience with access needs #MCN2014 #A11y
  17. 17. Online survey In 2014, Art Beyond Sight and Antenna International hosted three online surveys to explore: • How are people with disabilities using smartphones in their everyday lives? • What are their needs in museums? • How are museums currently using mobile technologies? MCN 2014 01 7 #MCN2014 #A11y
  18. 18. About the Art Beyond Sight/Antenna Lab project MCN 2014 01 8 • Three surveys online from January through June 2014 • Over 100 responses ‒ 61 people with disabilities ‒ 44 cultural institutions ‒ 9 access organizations • Most individual participants self-identified as people who are blind or have low vision • Percentages in survey results are based on how many people answered each question, not on total participants, as not every question was answered by every participant. • Focus groups with people who are blind or have low vision conducted in June 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  19. 19. People with disabilities at museums • They’re coming! ‒ 26% at least once a month ‒ 42% at least once a year • They’re staying! ‒ 68% spend 1-2 hours or longer ‒ …and they do this regularly MCN 2014 01 9 #MCN2014 #A11y
  20. 20. What’s challenging for visitors with disabilities? MCN 2014 02 0 • Dispersed information • Ambient noise • Exterior locations • Complex spaces • Busy environments #MCN2014 #A11y
  21. 21. Smartphones and everyday life MCN 2014 02 1 • Mobile device ownership by people with disabilities aligns with general population • Of our survey respondents… ‒ 60% own iPhones ‒ 31% own Androids ‒ 25% own iPads • Level of comfort with technology ‒ 56% very comfortable ‒ 33% mostly comfortable #MCN2014 #A11y
  22. 22. Accessibility capabilities of mobile technology MCN 2014 02 2 • System screen readers (VoiceOver in iOS) • Text-to-speech • Magnification and zoom • Other visual interface customization (e.g., inverted colors) • Adjustable font sizing • Hearing aid support • Limitable access to onscreen elements • Alternative input methods and devices • Internal sensors and wireless connectivity, geolocation #MCN2014 #A11y
  23. 23. Content developed for accessibility purposes MCN 2014 02 3 • Verbal description ‒ Audio tracks ‒ Description of video • Transcripts of audio • Captioning of video • Content translated into sign language • Multi-sensory experiences • User interface design choices #MCN2014 #A11y
  24. 24. Things to consider… MCN 2014 02 4 • What platform will we use? • Visitor’s device or our device? Or both? • Mobile-friendly website, web app, or app app? • Use built-in features or code them ourselves? • In-house or external vendor? #MCN2014 #A11y
  25. 25. The MFA Boston Multimedia Guide A case study of one museum’s mobile technology solution • In 2010, transitioned from audio guide to multimedia guide • Chose to design proprietary app only available on their devices (iPod touches in security cases) • Content created in-house • Accessibility considered from outset MCN 2014 02 5 #MCN2014 #A11y
  26. 26. What’s on the MFA guide? MCN 2014 02 6 Emphasis on choice for people with disabilities • Verbal description of objects – will soon be available for every stop • Highlights tour offered in multiple languages including American Sign Language • Text transcripts of audio for every stop • Captioned video • Compatibility with T-coil hearing aid technology • Selection of guides available with tactile dot on screen and VoiceOver screen reader activated #MCN2014 #A11y
  27. 27. Design with user in mind: ASL videos • ASL videos for every object on MFA’s Highlights tour, like other languages • Vertical orientation, no captioning, no image of artwork • Signers were existing MFA ASL guides • Team of people reviews each video MCN 2014 02 7
  28. 28. Other choices for ASL design • Translating to American Sign Language is an art, not a science • Sign languages are not static • Consider screen size and orientation • Proper names and jargon must be spelled out; this can increase length of video, captions are option too • Do not neglect your deaf or hard-of-hearing audiences who do not sign MCN 2014 02 8 #MCN2014 #A11y
  29. 29. How else to think about audience? MCN 2014 02 9 • Define your audiences • Create user personas early in the process • Remember that abilities change as conditions or environments change • Discover in-house expertise, AND seek knowledgeable outside advisors • Seek feedback and perform user testing throughout #MCN2014 #A11y
  30. 30. The real design impact of user personas MCN 2014 03 0 #MCN2014 #A11y Antenna International and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital
  31. 31. Experience design takeaways MCN 2014 03 1 • One size does not fit all ‒ For museums ‒ For content types ‒ For people with disabilities • Hybrid experiences – marry digital with analogue • Smartphones and handheld mobile may not be the best solution – or even a possible solution • Consider how successful design with accessibility in mind affects all audiences #MCN2014 #A11y
  32. 32. Sina Bahram President, Prime Access Consulting @SinaBahram 32 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  33. 33. “When we work on making our devices accessible by the blind, I don’t consider the bloody ROI” Tim Cook, Apple CEO #MCN2014 #A11yMCN 201433
  34. 34. Mobile Accessibility • Touch offers unique advantages • Facilitates eyes-free exploration of spatial layout • Facilitates collaboration between sighted and eyes-free users • Relies on concept of an access overlay @SinaBahram 34 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  35. 35. What Is An Access Overlay? • Invisible software layer that intercepts touch events • Provides explore functionality • Responds to particular gestures • Allows native gestures to still be performed (usually with small modification) @SinaBahram 35 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  36. 36. Tips and Tricks •Be aware of platform specific accessibility offerings •Label your controls/content •Provide additional information, via hints, when appropriate •Use native controls whenever possible •Use the appropriate control/widget for the job •Test your app the way your users will use it #MCN2014 #A11yMCN 201436
  37. 37. Going the extra mile •Be aware of accessibility specific gestures/actions •Semantic mark up matters •Grouping of controls and flow matter a lot •Provide multiple ways to do something #MCN2014 #A11yMCN 201437
  38. 38. Demo of Voice Over and iOS @SinaBahram 38 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  39. 39. Device Accessibility Features • Voiceover • Zoom • Guided Access • Hearing Aid Support • Inverted Mode • Assistive Touch • Switch Control 39 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  40. 40. 1. Equitable Use Equitable use: Can visitors with different functional limitations get a similar, or equitable, experience? @SinaBahram 40 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  41. 41. 2. Flexibility in Use Can visitors interact with the information in a variety of different ways? @SinaBahram 41 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  42. 42. 3. Simple and Intuitive Use Can visitors with different experience or knowledge benefit from the information being presented? @SinaBahram 42 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  43. 43. 4. Perceptible Information Can visitors access and interact with the information being presented, independent of a sensory disability and disturbances in the environment? @SinaBahram 43 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  44. 44. 5. Tolerance for Error Can visitors always return to a consistent, known starting point so that, for example, they don’t cause systems to crash or behave unexpectedly, regardless of the actions they take? @SinaBahram 44 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  45. 45. 6. Low Physical Effort Can visitors fully appreciate the given information without needing much physical effort or dexterity? @SinaBahram 45 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  46. 46. 7. Size And Space for Approach And Use Can visitors get close; have enough space in which to move around, even with a wheelchair, walker, or crutches; and manipulate it, independent of posture or other physical limitations? @SinaBahram 46 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  47. 47. How to Reach Systemic Accessibility • Design and build inclusively ‒ It is far more expensive to retrofit accessibility into an existing artifact • Involve persons with disabilities early and often ‒ This helps ground designs in real-world user needs • Include accessibility into Call for Proposals (CFP) ‒ This represents actual institutional commitment • Require accessibility in contracts with vendors ‒ This helps insure accessibility actually happens • Evaluate ‒ Gather feedback on how things are working for your visitors/users @SinaBahram 47 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  48. 48. Anna Lindgren-Streicher Manager Research & Evaluation, Boston Museum of Science @astreichs 48 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  49. 49. Matching mobile to your museum Find a good fit for your goals • Challenges with social, hands-on, interactive experiences • Experiment with how mobile supports the core experience • Use mobile to mediate for visitors with disabilities @astreichs 49 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  50. 50. Matching mobile to your museum How can mobile be used to… • Provide additional experiences or information visitors can share with others? • Provide multisensory access to experiences & information? • Provide a parallel experience for inaccessible aspects? @astreichs 50 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  51. 51. Lessons learned from the MOS • ASL multimedia tour of traveling exhibition • Audio labels for small permanent exhibit @astreichs 51 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  52. 52. Lessons learned from the MOS • Make it easy to access the mobile experience ‒ Clearly labeled pick-up or download ‒ Advertise it appropriately • Trained, knowledgeable staff can make or break it ‒ Know accessibility features ‒ Be comfortable interacting with visitors with disabilities @astreichs 52 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  53. 53. Lessons learned from the MOS • Mobile experiences can provide independence ‒ Allows for self-paced experiences, not interpreter-led ‒ Can provide content in preferred modality or language • Understand culture as well ‒ How do people prefer to receive information? ‒ What existing assumptions and behaviors can you build off of? @astreichs 53 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  54. 54. Lessons learned from the MOS Test things during development • Seemingly small glitches can lead to high frustration • Use it thoroughly yourself • Get feedback directly from your intended audience @astreichs 54 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  55. 55. RECOMMENDATIONS “Accessibility is not a checklist – it is a goal” • Consider accessibility from the get –go • Realize accessibility audiences are diverse - one size does not fit all • Utilize existing access tools (and allow device customization) • One size does not fit all • Use universal design principles • Test early and often • Invest in staff training 55 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  56. 56. Research Resources Web Aim Low Vision Survey - Web Content Accessibility Guidelines : CMME Personas: digital-exhibit-interactives/8777/ 56 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  57. 57. Tech Resources iOS Android Microsoft UI Automation BBC Mobile 57 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  58. 58. Content Resources #MCN2014 #A11yMCN 201458 • Image Description § Guidelines for Describing STEM Images § Alternative Text on the Web § Image Accessibility Considerations o POET – A tool for adding image descriptions to digital talking books § Tutorial: • Video Description Guidelines: YouDescribe - A free service that allows anyone to describe a YouTube video. Videos can be played back with description by eyes-free users and others who benefit from description. § Tutorial: • 3D Printing for Accessible Materials • Latest Developments in image accessibility: The DIAGRAM Center
  59. 59. Questions? 59 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  60. 60. Thank you Annie Leist @artaccessannie @ArtByndSight Sina Bahram @SinaBahram Anna Lindgren-Streicher, Museum of Science @astreichs Sofie Andersen @sofieny @antenna_lab 60 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y
  61. 61. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS •With thanks to all Antenna/ASB Survey participants •ABS staff Elisabeth Axel, Nina Levent, Ibraheem Fakir •Hannah Goodwin, MFA Boston •Danielle Linzer, The Whitney Museum of American Art •Cynthia Overton Ph.D, American Institutes for Research •Digital Accessibility Specialist Tom Babinski for use of CSUN13 research •Gartner and Andrew Johnson for generous use of 2013 trends reporting •American Foundation for the Blind Technology Lab 61 MCN 2014 #MCN2014 #A11y