Access and Disability Inclusion
Accessibility can be problematic for some of your staff and volunteers when your museum reopens. For those audiences who find it difficult to physically visit your museum, or are part of a shielded group, alternative methods should be used to reach them virtually.
One of the biggest changes to our daily lives since the outbreak of Covid-19 is our use of technology and remote/virtual working. Digital meeting platforms have seen a surge in popularity and the internet has played a massive role in digital engagement – from Twitter to virtual tours.
Questions to ask yourself
- What can you do to reach out to audiences in a non-contact way? Do you have loan boxes or virtual resources available online?
- Is your marketing accessible? What safety and access features do you need to highlight? Where are the closest Changing Places toilets and other important facilities that are not on-site?
- Do you need to implement stricter hygiene protocols, and will you need training for your staff and volunteers on this?
- What strengths can you gain from an improved virtual presence, and how can that become more accessible?
- Do you have a plan for what you want to achieve virtually?
- Do you have the technological or specialist skills you need? How much time can you devote to it? Do you need support to get the best result?
- Can you access a specialist for advice and tips?
- Does your collection allow for photography and can you use what you have already digitised?
- Do you have someone on your team who is good at social media?
“Once the social distancing measures reduce, it is going to be a privilege to return to a new normal. Many disabled people and their families are going to have to continue to ‘shield’ themselves. Museums must remember them in our new operational models.”
James Brandon, Diversity and Inclusion Manager, Tate Galleries
Free online conferencing tools
A case study on virtual access from National Paralympic Heritage Trust
Virtual Museum by Hastings Museum
Virtual tour example from the Postal Museum
Social media engagement examples
Podcasting from Culture 24
Free digital surgeries from Digital Culture Network (DCN)
https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/developing-digital-culture/digital-culture-network (to arrange please email: email@example.com)
Helpful information on working virtually from Digital Culture Network (DCN)
General resources from Disability Collaborative Network
Digital planning and development