Let's take a look back at Christine Sajewski's 2015 publication, Opening Doors: Welcoming New Audiences with Sensory Friendly Performances.
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.
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.
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.
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 Theatre, Imagination Stage, The Kennedy Center, and TDF’s Autism Theatre Initiative, this publication discusses best practices and important considerations for program development.
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.
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.
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.
Two weeks ago, I looked at the feasibility of open captioning and the different ways to provide the service and save money. Today let’s take a closer look at another form of assistive technology: audio description services.
As survey results continue to roll in, let's take a closer look at one form of assistive technology: open and closed captioning. How are these captioning options used for performances and what are some cost-cutting methods to implement these services?