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Especially for Me: Innovative Ways Museums Can Support Visitors of All Abilities

Posted by Amanda Gustin on March 21, 2011 in professional development |

The registration deadline for this workshop is TODAY – so run, don’t walk, and sign up!

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Especially for Me:
Innovative Ways Museums Can Support Visitors of All Abilities

Monday, March 28 10:00 am – 3:00 pm

Wistariahurst Museum

Holyoke, MA

Registration Deadline: March 21, 2011

Registration Fee (lunch included): $50 NEMA members / $60 non-members / $40 students
Click here to register.

With an estimated 19% of Americans classified as disabled, how can museums be responsive to this segment of the population? Join us at Wistariahurst Museum, Holyoke, MA, as we explore innovative ways to design exhibits and programs that promote inclusion and disability awareness. Topics will include collaborative programs with the special needs community and universal design.

9:30 am   Registration and Coffee

10:00 am Welcome and Introductions

10:15 am   Universal Design 101
Emily Robertson, Product Coordinator, Temporary Exhibit Operations, Museum of Science, MA & Jan Crocker, President, Jan Crocker Museum Associates, MA
Jan and Emily will present a talk on the principles of Universal Design (UD). UD provides design choices that create a better experience for visitors with disabilities, but ultimately all visitors benefit from these choices. Through discussion and hands-on activities during the talk, they will explore practical strategies for improving current programs and exhibits, the differences between ADA and Universal Design, and how to work with advisory boards on planning teams.

11:00 am   access/ABILITY
Gail Ringel, Vice President of Exhibits & Productions, Boston Children’s Museum, MA
Gail’s presentation will focus on the Boston Children’s Museum’s exhibit access/ABILITY which is a highly interactive, yet sensitive, disability awareness exhibit that delivers the message to visitors that as human beings, we are more alike than different. This unique exhibit presents people living with disabilities as participants in the world and features fun and engaging activities that show the similarities and differences in how each of us with or without disabilities go places, communicate, have fun, and learn.

11:30 am   Forever Young Treehouses
B’fer Roth, “Treehouse Guy,” Forever Young Treehouses, Designer/Builder, VT

Accessible Treehouses! Who would ever imagine those two words would be used together, but it’s true. We will see firsthand, how boundaries are so happily broken by way of experiencing the joy of being up in a Treehouse in a wheelchair.
12:00 pm   Lunch

1:00 pm   Exploring Our Way
Deb Jurkoic, Autism Family Support Specialist, Easter Seals, The Family Place, NH and Paula Rais, Visitor Services & Outreach Coordinator, The Children’s Museum of New Hampshire, NH
Exploring Our Way: the Children’s Museum of New Hampshire’s Autism Partnership Program provides free visits to families with children who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The presentation will outline the ways in which CMNH provides opportunities to enjoy family time at the museum in a safe, understanding environment.

1:45 pm   Especially for Me: Expanding Access to Museum Fun for Families with Deaf or Hard of Hearing Infants & Toddlers
Amy Spencer, Director of Early Childhood Education & Parent Resources, The Discovery Museums, MA, and Denise Fournier Eng, Speech Language Pathologist, Children’s Hospital of Boston at Waltham, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Program, MA
Amy and Denise will speak about the collaboration between their two organizations that offers families with deaf or hard of hearing infants and toddlers opportunities to explore the Children’s Discovery Museum during a special time just for them using ASL interpreters to facilitate language and play within the creative and interactive exhibits.

2:45 pm Wrap Up & Evaluations

Click here to register.

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