Accessibility programming at U.S. museums extends appreciation of the visual arts to blind individuals
- The Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and other major art museums offer programming allowing visitors to touch selected works or work replicas.
- Such programming allows for the more individualized aesthetic appreciation enjoyed by those without visual impairment, and in museums where tactile engagement is forbidden, specialized tours offer detailed descriptions of works to visitors.
- Museum professionals note the growth in accessibility programming since the 1970s, with the introduction of the Americans With Disabilities Act in 1980 spurring cultural institutions to work to create inclusive experiences across the ability spectrum.
“I don’t think it’s red tape-wise such a difficult thing to do. … And you can certainly use the argument, ‘Look at all these other museums.’ … I think that the institutions that don’t have something in place are scrambling because they’re thinking, ‘Here we are 25 years [after the ADA], we’d better get going on this.’ ”
Read the full story at the Washington Post.
(Image Credit: Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)