Accessibility Rebooted: Technological Advancements to Improve Accessibility in Museums

With the growing emphasis on providing learning experiences that occur outside the classroom, accessibility and inclusivity is of paramount importance to museums transitioning into the 21st century. As museums become more inclusive, their methods of communication must be equally as effective between people with disabilities and those without.

5 Technologies with the Potential to Enhance Museum Experience

As new technologies emerge in the market, museums are able to enhance visitor experiences through innovative tools, allowing for increased accessibility and interaction with the visitors.

Here are five exciting technologies that are upending traditional notions at many museums across the world, and changing the way museums can present their exhibitions and in-gallery experiences.

Increasing Accessibility Through Virtual Reality: A Look at VR’s Therapeutic Potential

Virtual Reality has helped researchers make significant advancements in treating burn patients, phobias, PTSD, and learning disabilities. As the technology moves into museums, it presents an exciting opportunity for improved accessibility initiatives, potentially allowing visitors with autism and sensory-learning disabilities to enjoy a customizable museum experience in a safe, controlled environment.

New Publication Available: Engaging Audiences Through Sensory-Friendly Performances

AMT Lab's latest publication Opening Doors: Welcoming New Audiences with Sensory-Friendly Performances, is a useful guide for organizations seeking to learn more about the needs and challenges of creating sensory-friendly programming programming. Based on interviews with several sensory-friendly program directors and artists from Pittsburgh Ballet TheatreImagination StageThe Kennedy Center, and TDF’s Autism Theatre Initiative, this publication discusses best practices and important considerations for program development.

Opening Doors: The People Behind Sensory-Friendly Programs

One of the most important aspects of successful sensory-friendly programming is the proper training and involvement of staff, volunteers, and artists. Despite any initial concerns or nerves about the uncertainties with this programming, staff members at every organization I spoke with were eager to get involved. This is the third post in our series on sensory-friendly programming.

Opening Doors: Best Practices for Developing Sensory-Friendly Programs

In part 1 of Opening Doors, I reflected on sensory-friendly programming through my personal experience at Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. These performances create an incredible opportunity for arts organizations to include individuals and families from around their communities. Yet effective implementation requires time and in-depth planning with staff and community partners. This second post continues the discussion looking at best practices related to sensory-friendly program design.

Opening Doors: Welcoming New Audiences with Sensory-Friendly Performances

For many families and individuals, the experience of attending a performing arts program is hindered by physical or developmental challenges. And with 1 in 68 American children on the autism spectrum, by neglecting this significant population, our institutions are failing to serve a large part of their community. Sensory-friendly programming creates a performance environment where the traditional theater rules are relaxed to better accommodate a variety of audience members. This introduction is the first in a series of posts on sensory-friendly programming.