Are you really aware of the human-centered design process to address accessibility projects in your cultural institution?

accessibility and inclusiveness approaches for museums

Raise your awareness

Familiarize yourself with the law

You can easily find some reliable sources on governmental websites by searching for “Equality act” or by looking at legal frameworks such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and IDEA.

Look out for biases

We may not realize how many stereotypes we have when addressing accessibility issues.

“It is disgusting to try to make people believe that this bench is inclusive for people with disabilities.”
“It is disgusting to try to make people believe that this bench is inclusive for people with disabilities. At some point you have to stop thinking we’re stupid. Street furniture anti-homeless, that’s all it is!”

“Whatever you do for me but without me, you do against me” — Mahatma Gandhi 1869–1948

Embrace human-centered design thinking process

Considering the above examples that could be supported by many others, our best advice to tackle accessibility issues is to embrace a human-centered, universal and inclusive design process. You may already be acquainted with it as it is becoming a commonplace in museums.

Source: Stanford d. school design thinking process
Source: Stanford d. school design thinking process

Step 1: inspiration, as the process of investigating the audiences’ needs pain-points or frustrations.

The main goal of this stage is to gain visitors insights by asking questions such as the ones on the empathy map Canvas here below.

Courtesy of @hannahfox keynote on ‘Co-Production”- Derby Museum Canvas collection — Visual templates: http://masterfacilitato
Courtesy of @hannahfox keynote on ‘Co-Production”- Derby Museum Canvas collection — Visual templates: http://masterfacilitator.com/canvas-collection/
The Personas method: An instrument for visitor-centered products and services”, Connected Audience 2017
Stéphanie Wintzerith & Werner Schweibenz, from keynote “The Personas method:
An instrument for visitor-centered products and services”, Connected Audience 2017
Quai Branly Museum “Semaine de l’accessibilité”. The process is often as important as the outcome.
“The process is often as important as the outcome. Dialogue build understanding, community ownership and a shared sense of pride” — Bill Haley Director, Haley Sharpe Design
Captcha example
Captcha example
User journey map example
User journey map

Step 2: ideation as the process of generating, prototyping and testing ideas

During this process, it is important to gather new resources alongside the museum team and become barrier-free through workshops’ participation.

ideation as the process of generating, prototyping and testing ideas. Photo by bonneval sebastien on Unsplash
Photo by bonneval sebastien on Unsplash

Step 3: implementation as the path that leads from the project stage into people’s lives.

Once the MVP is sufficiently refined on paper or mock-up, it’s time to proceed to real life by building the final service or product. Based on your analysis, testing and frames, you can implement your service, app or gallery being sure that you address all your visitors’ needs. And don’t forget to implement some KPI to measure your results !

“When we talk about institutions like museums, we don’t talk about ROI in terms of return on investment, we talk about ROI in terms of return on institutional objectives. So by making your stuff more inclusive, you are increasing your visitorship, you are increasing your engagement time, you are increasing your ability to contribute positively to the community. Whatever their institutional objectives are, these practices, they assist that as well.”

Transcript of Sina Bahram interview by Chris Hofstader, activist in the disability rights space.

Livdeo tips Step 3

Design for disabled people as everyone will benefit!

Disability is the world’s largest community group!

According to the Global Economics of Disability Annual report 2016, people with disabilities represent 17% of the world’s population (estimation around 1.3 billion) with an annual disposable income of more than $8 trillion (family and friends included). Besides, friends and families can be very strong advocators of a museum that commits to accessibility.

Return on Disability Delight Customers and Attract Talent

It may help you find new financial support

More and more companies no longer want to pay just for their names on a wall. they favor institutions with a real social engagement but want their employees to get involved in meaningful activities within the museum.

Everyone worth it!

We should not forget that anyone can join disabled people at any time.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Livdeo

Livdeo

@Livdeo provides inclusive solutions for Museums and Cultural Institutions to create digital layers without constraints for visitors. @geedinfo @deealog