5 Steps for Placing Accessibility at the Heart of Museum Programming.

A blurred image of museum visitors staring at framed paintings on a red museum gallery wall.
Photo by Julian Mora

Zooming Out

Zooming In

First Steps for Virtual Access

  • Access Check: An access check is a way to check in with participants at the start of the meeting to make sure that everyone is aware of the rules for participation and access accommodations available. Setting expectations in this way is beneficial to all participants of virtual programs. Learn more about access checks in this guide.
  • Captions: Captions provide access for people who are D/deaf or Hard of Hearing but can also benefit English-Language learners and others who may not identify as disabled. Best practice recommends using a live captioning service to get the most accurate transcription but many platforms offer free automated captions if you’re on a budget. You should disclose to participants in advance which type of captions you’ll be providing. Here are tutorials for enabling captions in Zoom and GoogleMeet.
  • Interpreters: Many individuals in the Deaf community prefer live interpretation to captioning because American Sign Language has different grammatical rules than spoken English. If there are Deaf people attending your events, it’s best to ask them which accommodation they prefer.
  • Verbal Descriptions: When using visual aids such as slides, images, or video, providing a brief description makes visuals accessible for people who are blind or with low vision. You may also choose to describe yourself and your speakers when introducing them to provide a fuller picture of the program. Descriptions should provide essential information about what you are looking at. For performances or longer videos, you can also hire professional audio describers.
  • Plain Language: Using clear and concise language is another accommodation that benefits all participants of your programs. It is especially important for providing access to people with developmental disabilities. Plain language is text that can be understood from the first read. Keep your sentences short and avoid jargon. Learn more about plain language here.

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Co-founder of Gesso, next-gen audio guides for cities + museums. Follow for latest insights on audio, museum tech, travel tech, and more. www.gesso.app

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Henna Wang

Henna Wang

Co-founder of Gesso, next-gen audio guides for cities + museums. Follow for latest insights on audio, museum tech, travel tech, and more. www.gesso.app

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