The Art of Access: A Practical Guide for Museum Accessibility is a one-stop guide to the incremental ways your museum can build a comprehensive approach to accessibility that can be easily integrated into the fabric of your museum.
Each chapter presents practical actions that any museum or cultural institution (regardless of the size, budget, or scope) can take to better engage and welcome visitors of all ages and abilities. This book will illuminate the incremental ways in which accessibility can be easily integrated into the fabric of museums, thus enabling institutions to better engage with audiences who would otherwise not visit the museum.
Heather Pressman has worked in museum education, development, and communications. She is a founding member of the organizing committee for the Art of Access Alliance in Denver, a consortium working to make Denver’s arts and cultural attractions accessible to all.
Danielle Schulz is the senior manager of lifelong learning and accessibility at the Denver Art Museum, where she works with community members to promote inclusive practices that ensure visitors of all ages and abilities can enjoy and be inspired by their interaction with art.
Chapter 1: Different, Not Less: Essential Background
Chapter 2: Won’t You be our Neighbor: Partnerships, Part I
Chapter 3: Nothing About Us Without Us: Partnerships, Part II
Chapter 4: Environmental Access: The ADA and Inclusive Design
Chapter 5: Not an Afterthought: Cognitive Access
Chapter 6: A Spectrum of Experience: Sensory Access
Chapter 7: A Whole New World Wide Web: Digital Access
Chapter 8: Dollars and Sense: Financial Access
Chapter 9: A Word About Words: Communications
Chapter 10: If You Build It They Will Come: Inclusive Exhibitions and Programming
Chapter 11: All Aboard: Professional Development and Staff Training
Chapter 12: You Are on the Road to Welcome
Appendix A: Resources to Continue Your Journey
Appendix B: Questions to Get Started with Museum Accessibility
Appendix C: Glossary
About the Authors
Heather Pressman and Danielle Schultz have created an inspiring, must-read primer for anyone engaging in the essential transformation of their museum into an accessible and inclusive environment. The Art of Access addresses practical ways to welcome those with diverse physical, cognitive, and learning abilities to an online or onsite museum visit, and in doing so, to build access for all. From consideration of exhibition space, programs, wayfinding tools, and label content to communication styles, budgets, and staff training, this well-researched guide provides stories, tools, and resources for embarking on this critical journey to inclusivity. This publication should be on every current and future museum professional’s bookshelf.
This well-written and deeply researched book fills a real need in the museum field and will be a valuable resource for new as well as more experienced museum professionals. What I find particularly useful is how comprehensive it is in bringing together so many resources and information into one book, from the history of disability as a human rights concern, to real nuts and bolts suggestions for how to solve an access problem. I wish I had had this when I first started doing museum access work. I can't wait to share this book with my colleagues!
The Art of Access is a wonderfully written, easy-to-followguide to thinking about accessibility in museums and community organizations today. Heather Pressman and Danielle Schulz share their expertise and experience in accessibility design through the exploration of real life scenarios and outcomes and help guide the reader through solutions to improve visitor and staff experiences in museums from historic homes to large gallery spaces. The authors even explore the importance of virtual accessibility and discuss the hidden roadblocks to accessibility that we all encounter daily. I highly recommend The Art of Access as the go-to resource for planning accessibility and accessible programs at your organization.