Practical Tips for Making Museum Spaces More Accessible

Creating an inclusive and accessible museum environment allows all visitors to engage with exhibits. Museums can use low-cost strategies, such as improving signage and offering sensory-friendly options, to enhance accessibility and foster inclusivity.

  1. Improve Signage: Utilize simple, large-print signs with clear fonts and high-contrast colors. Invest in removable adhesive symbols or stickers to create tactile signage where needed. Check out our resource on how to Create Accessible Exhibit Signage & Labels.
  2. Utilize Free Audio Guides or Apps: Explore free or low-cost audio guide platforms or apps allowing visitors to access audio descriptions of exhibits using their smartphones. QR codes can be easily generated and placed near exhibits.
  3. Translate Materials Using Volunteer Assistance: Engage bilingual volunteers from the community to help translate exhibit labels and informational materials. This can be a cost-effective way to provide multilingual content.
  4. Create DIY Tactile Exhibits: Develop tactile exhibits using inexpensive materials such as textured fabrics, foam boards and everyday household items. Replicate key features of artifacts or exhibits to provide a tactile experience for visitors.
  5. Focus on DIY Accessibility Modifications: Use low-cost materials available at hardware stores to make simple physical accessibility improvements, such as installing portable ramps, adding non-slip mats and widening doorways.
  6. Offer Sensory-Friendly Options with Donated Items: Partner with local organizations or businesses to acquire donated noise-canceling headphones, sensory toys and other sensory-friendly items for visitors to use during their museum visit.
  7. Provide Staff Training Using Online Resources: Utilize free online training resources and webinars to educate museum staff on disability awareness and accessibility best practices. Many organizations offer free or low-cost training materials on these topics.
  8. Host Accessible Events in Collaboration with Community Partners: Collaborate with local disability advocacy groups, schools, and community centers to co-host accessible events and programs. These partnerships can help reduce costs and increase community engagement.
  9. Create DIY Online Accessibility Resources: Develop accessible online resources in-house using free or low-cost tools for creating audio descriptions, captions and alternative formats such as PDFs or text documents.
  10. Seek Feedback through Volunteer Engagement: Recruit volunteers from the local community to provide feedback on accessibility initiatives and identify areas for improvement. This can be done through focus groups, surveys or informal discussions.

By implementing these low-cost suggestions, museums can enhance accessibility without requiring significant financial investment, thus making their spaces more inclusive and welcoming to visitors of all abilities.

Related posts