Making History Accessible Exhibition
We invited the disability community to test accessibility design exhibition prototypes that will expand to historic sites and house museums across the United States.
The exhibit has been accessed over 2,600 times via the digital mobile guide our team built for accessibility.
→ Go to Exhibit Website
A 2021 museum accessibility class at NYU generated a series of final design projects from students that had not yet been tested with end users with disabilities.
We wanted to prepare for future work, in which we write a set of guidelines for accessible museum content presentation for museums in the U.S. by:
- Evaluating prototypes with visitors with disabilities
- Gathering feedback for 2022’s students to iterate on the prototypes
- In the spring of 2020 and 2021 students in the museum accessibility class designed prototypes to make museums and historic sites more accessible to visitors. Two of the projects were the Bring Your Own Accessible Device (BYOAD) project and a tactile graphic of George Washington’s aging jowls
- We implemented the projects in a 2021 exhibition at the Intrepid Museum in New York City
- We invited community members with disabilities to test the prototypes, using informal observation
- We gathered feedback to inform 2022 students on how they could iterate on and improve the projects
What We Learned
- The topographic interpretation of George Washington’s aging jowls was confusing to some visitors
- Blind and Low Vision visitors suggested audio description to accompany the tactile graphic
- George’s facial features were tactually unclear and needed verbal description and landmarking to help explain