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Accessible Interpretation: SMOG testing and Access Advisory Groups

On Monday 2nd September, the Kent & Medway Museum Development Programme ran a training day looking at ‘Accessible Interpretation’, kindly hosted by the Powell-Cotton Museum.
The morning session was led by Sonia Rasbery, Access & Learning Consultant, who took the group through good practice for the design of graphic panels, such as panel height, font styles and size, through to carrying out a practical SMOG readability test.  Carrying out a SMOG (simple measure of gobbledygook) test is a great way to identify the reading age of your text, and can be calculated online using the Niace SMOG-calculator: 

The afternoon session was led by Helen Mears, Keeper of World Art at Royal Pavilion & Museums, Brighton.  Helen was joined by 3 members of their Access Advisory Group who provided invaluable support, feedback and advice to the staff at Brighton throughout the redevelopment process of the World Stories galleries: ideas such as how to make the galleries accessible to those with visual impairments through using the RNIB’s ‘Pen Friend’, or suggestions such as making sure there is plenty of seating, avoid stark changes in light-levels, include a tactile element to each section, use real quotes from real people, avoid sensory overload, etc.

 The delegates found the session and advice from the day extremely useful, commenting:

This has raised the access issues up the priority list. Website and museum reviews will follow.

Keen to now go and find out more of the nitty-gritty details.

Fantastic and inspirational experience – professionally delivered.