This is a picture of a museum visitor tactically exploring a tactile painting

Six Ways the DAM is Working to Enhance Visitor Accessibility

A lot has changed over the past year in our access program; we couldn’t resist doing a year in review. Here are six of the many updates we’ve made at the DAM to increase accessibility for visitors:

  1. Large Print & Braille Exhibition Text Booklets: You may have noticed large print and braille exhibition text booklets on the walls in the Passport to Paris galleries, or most recently in the Modern Masters exhibition. In addition to working with graphic designers to continually advance the design and usability of these materials, we also gathered data to improve the location of these materials in the galleries.
  2. More Tactile Tables: Since launching our bimonthly Tactile Tables program last June, we have created more than 12 new tactile kits and provided a growing number of museum patrons with the chance to engage with our permanent collection in a hands-on way. Visitors to the Tactile Tables range from students with visual impairments to adult day-care groups.
  3. Tactile Components for Independent Use: To complement our bimonthly programming for visitors with visual impairments, we also began developing installed tactile components for independent use during museum hours. Our first installed tactile, in the Thread Studio on Level 6 of the North Building, highlights the process of creating silk; the next features pre-Columbian objects and will be installed in the coming months on Level 5 of the North Building.
  4. Access Internship Program: With the goal of nurturing future cultural-access leaders, we have grown our access internship program. Interns with and without disabilities with a passion for accessibility in museums have worked side by side to contribute to the development of our programming.
  5. Access Education & Training: Commitment to accessibility is museum-wide here at the DAM; over the past year, many departments hosted access information sessions and underwent sensitivity trainings to maintain their capacity to serve diverse audiences and keep updated on cultural-access trends.
  6. Quarterly E-Newsletter: To maintain communication with the access community, we’ve introduced a quarterly access e-newsletter, which shares any changes to access at the DAM and details upcoming access programs.

We can’t wait to see what the next year has in store!

Sally McCance is the coordinator of access programs in the education department at the Denver Art Museum. Sally has been at the DAM since 2013 and her favorite artwork that has been on view here is Spiritual Messenger by Francis Nnaggenda.

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