Exhibits & Interpretation

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Exhibit Design Relating to Low Vision and Blindness Summary Report

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January 2011

Introduction

Historically, museums have displayed their collections for the visiting public primarily through visual means. Most often the objects are located behind glass or other barriers; and if not, clearly the message is to “look and not touch”. While audio tours have been a recent addition to the museum scene, the absence of descriptive information about the objects or exhibits themselves have proved inaccessible to for persons with visual impairments and do not provide an equivalent experience that is available to the sighted public.

Tactile Mapping for Cultural and Entertainment Venues

Exhibit Design Relating to Low Vision and Blindness:

Tactile Mapping for Cultural and Entertainment Venues

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This paper has been supported by the National Center on Accessibility, the National Park Service and the U.S. Access Board through Task Agreement J2420070133 under Cooperative Agreement H0500000011.

by Steven Landau, President
Touch Graphics, Inc.

Research on Effective Use of Tactile Exhibits with Touch Activated Audio Description for the Blind and Low Vision Audience

Exhibit Design Relating to Low Vision and Blindness:

Research on Effective Use of Tactile Exhibits with Touch Activated Audio Description for the Blind and Low Vision Audience

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This paper has been supported by the National Center on Accessibility, the National Park Service and the U.S. Access Board through Task Agreement J2420070133 under Cooperative Agreement H0500000011.

by Rebecca Fuller and William R. Watkins, RAF Models, Inc. 

What Visitors with Vision Loss Want Museums and Parks to Know About Effective Communication

Exhibit Design Relating to Low Vision and Blindness:

What Visitors with Vision Loss Want Museums and Parks to Know about Effective Communication

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This paper has been supported by the National Center on Accessibility, the National Park Service and the U.S. Access Board through Task Agreement J2420070133 under Cooperative Agreement H0500000011.

By  Beth Ziebarth, Director
Smithsonian Institution Accessibility Program

Introduction

“ . . . our appreciation of our surroundings is multisensory, and . . . touch makes an important contribution to our well-being as well as our ability to understand and relate to the material world” (Pye 2007).

Current Media Technology, Appropriate Application of Technology, Future Research Needs

Exhibit Design Relating to Low Vision and Blindness:

Current Media Technology, Appropriate Application of Technology, Future Research Needs 

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By Larry Goldberg, Director
Media Access Group at WGBH

This paper has been supported by the National Center on Accessibility, the National Park Service and the U.S. Access Board through Task Agreement J2420070133 under Cooperative Agreement H0500000011.

Wire Mesh Railing Treatment Increases Visibility at Fanning Springs State Park

Designers planning boardwalks and viewing platforms are often challenged with creating accessible spaces and balancing the need for safety. Planners for the Florida State Parks decided to meet the challenge head on in Fanning Springs State Park. Planners used a wire mesh railing treatment to increase visibility while maintaining safety for park visitors.

Fanning Springs State Park is located on Florida's west coast on the famous Suwannee River, halfway between Tallahassee and Tampa. The park offers nature trails, swimming, boating and other various outdoor activities. Fanning Spring is one of Florida's 27 first magnitude springs. The wire mesh railing is installed on an 8 ½' x 11' boardwalk that extends from a swimming area to a gazebo overlooking the river.

Disney Introduces Handheld Captioning

How do you caption a moving amusement ride? Use technology. That’s what the folks at Walt Disney World Resorts did.

Effectively communicating the story and message of moving amusement rides has long been a challenge for the amusement park industry. In many moving narrative attractions, such as Peter Pan’s Flight, it’s a small world, Pirates of the Caribbean and Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, fixed captioning systems are not always effective as the ride is often moving too fast to read the captions. So the Disney engineers put wireless technology to work and developed a synchronized handheld captioning system.

The Susquehannock Case at the State Museum of Pennsylvania

The Susquehannock Case in the Archaeology Gallery at The State Museum of Pennsylvania, Harrisburg, PA, is a complex case. It contains approximately 100 artifacts, which are some of the best Native American artifacts in the museum’s collection. Only one artifact, the breastplate, could not be exhibited and was modeled because of its deteriorated state.

The exhibit tells the story of the Susquehannock, a lost people, from the 16th Century to the 18th Century spanning five historical periods. The Susquehannock migrated from northern Pennsylvania into the Lower Susquehanna Valley and subsequently traded with the newly arrived Europeans. Many of the objects on display show the various stages of their culture. The Susquehannock culture came to an end in 1763 when the Paxton Boys from Harrisburg became outraged by stories of native atrocities against white settlers, destroyed and killed the Native American residents in the settlement, Conestoga Indian Town.

Access at Mission San Luis

Mission San Luis, a National Historic Landmark site located in Tallahassee, Florida, was one of more than 100 mission settlements established in Spanish Florida between the 1560s and 1690s. Between 1656 and 1704, more than 1,400 Apalachee Indians and Spaniards lived at the mission. San Luis was a principal village of the Apalachee Indians and home of one of their most powerful leaders. San Luis was also the Spaniards' westernmost military, religious, and administrative headquarters. In 1983, the State of Florida purchased the property where the mission was located and began the research necessary to begin to present its story to the public. This story has been developed by painstaking archaeological excavations as well as through the translation of 17th- and 18th-century documents from Spanish archives. San Luis is the most thoroughly documented and archaeologically investigated mission in the Southeast.

Flowers, Floats, Auxiliary Aids and Services: Planning for Access at the Tournament of Roses

by Jennifer K. Skulski, National Center on Accessibility

Who doesn’t love a parade?  The floats.  The marching bands.  The pageantry.  From your hometown Fourth of July parade to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, there’s a festive spirit in the air.  And of course, who doesn’t love the granddaddy of them all…the parade that has brought in the new year for more than 100 years now…the Tournament of Roses Parade.