Day 5: National Gallery of Art & National Museum of American History

There was a neat similarity between the two presentations today that stuck out to me. Both museums mentioned that their goal was to make people feel comfortable, but the approach was very different for each museum. When discussing the building renovation, Susan Wertheim briefly mentioned how the museum created a mock-up of the stairs and tested it out because they really wanted to make sure people were going to be comfortable. It really blew my mind that stairs needed to be tested. All the stairs I have climbed in my life, and I have never thought, someone put thought and effort into making me comfortable. Susan and Harry pointed out a lot of building design issues that make or break a space and environment. I left with a lot of respect for those museum positions. I also really enjoyed visiting the NGA after the renovation because it was like visiting for the first time again.

Beth, Ashley, Laurel, and Jocelyn also spoke about making visitors feel comfortable, but in a completely different way. I haven’t taken any classes/experience in accessibility before today, but I found it really interesting. The title of Beth’s presentation was: More than Ramps, which was so fitting for what they talked about. I’m guilty of previously associating accessibility with only physical space, but not anymore. Their ideas for inclusion were simple, but made a huge impact on so many families. Mornings at the museum, Access to opportunities, and Project search should be viewed and considered by any museum that is able to participate.




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