Improving Intellectual Access for Blind and Partially Sighted ...

Work thumb

Views: 122

  • Title: Improving Intellectual Access for Blind and Partially Sighted Visitors to Temporary Exhibitions: An Inclusive Design Solution
  • Author(s): Anne Chick
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: The Inclusive Museum
  • Journal Title: The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum
  • Keywords: Inclusive Design, Blind and Sight-Loss Visitors, Intellectual Access, Temporary Exhibitions, Co-Creation, Co-Assessment
  • Volume: 12
  • Issue: 1
  • Year: 2019
  • ISSN: 1835-2014 (Print)
  • ISSN: 1835-2022 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/1835-2014/CGP/v12i01/39-62
  • Citation: Chick, Anne. 2019. "Improving Intellectual Access for Blind and Partially Sighted Visitors to Temporary Exhibitions: An Inclusive Design Solution." The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum 12 (1): 39-62. doi:10.18848/1835-2014/CGP/v12i01/39-62.
  • Extent: 24 pages

Abstract

This article explores the collaborative design, curation, and assessment of a temporary exhibition that aimed to bring intellectual access to blind and partially sighted visitors. The multi-sensory desk concept is the core component of the inclusive design and is the focus of this paper. Older people (65–74 years) are increasingly likely to experience sight loss, and they are the fastest growing visitor group to UK museums and galleries. Presently there are approximately two million people in the UK registered blind or partially sighted, which will double by 2050. Accessible design guidance was reviewed and a working document of relevant guidelines developed. Most guidance is aimed at developing permanent exhibitions. This research was directed by co-production principles using a multi-methods approach. Ethnographic fieldwork was conducted with observations and note taking, along with open-ended interviews, co-creation workshops, visitor written feedback, and co-assessment sessions. The research participants were blind and sight-loss visitors, curatorial staff, exhibition designers, and SENSE and RNIB representatives. The resulting exhibition has achieved a positive experience and emotional impact for the blind and partially sighted visitors through the opportunity for independent movement and thought and subsequent learning and knowledge exchange. More than 15,500 people visited the exhibition in three months.