Museums are increasingly making accessibility a priority, but without a clear blueprint for how to advance it, it can be difficult to know where to start. Here are some suggestions for finding your entry point.
Over the past decade, conversations about accessibility have increased within the museum field, and many organizations including AAM have identified it as a priority. There is not, however, a straightforward and approachable blueprint for increasing accessibility, meaning the museum workers tasked with doing so are often left wondering, “How do I get started?”
Heather Pressman and Danielle Schulz wrote The Art of Access: A Practical Guide for Museum Accessibility to answer this question and support museum practitioners on their accessibility journeys, regardless of the size, budget, or scope of their museum, by providing a range of starting points. Here we share three main guiding principles that every museum, regardless of size or focus, should keep at the forefront. Additionally, we highlight the work of three museums—The Henry Ford, the Intrepid Museum, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art—to shine a light on exciting ways accessibility and inclusion have been integrated into programs and evaluated.
The Squeaky Wheel Shows How Disability Humor Work
After months of preparation and content creation by founder and Editor-in-Chief Steven Verdile, The Squeaky Wheel went live in June 2021. Its look and feel are similar to that of The Onion, but with a disability perspective. The Squeaky Wheel has a news website format. Its headlines are funny in themselves, with the jokes further fleshed out by short articles, supplemented with clean, professional, entirely anonymous stock images. Everything is presented as perfectly normal, told with a straight face. The disability-based anger, confusion, and humor are all implied.