What does your museum look and feel like to people with learning disabilities? I'm happy to provide two great articles written by educational consultant Paul Gabriel for free download. Paul was the guest editor of an excellent issue of WestMuse in 2007 that covered a range of learning disabilities and how they affect the museum experience.
Paul will be joining Steve Tokar, Patterson Williams, Beth Katz and me for a half-day pre-conference session at WMA in San Diego: Getting Comfortable with Visitor Comfort. This workshop will be held at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park on Sunday, October 25. We'll present an overview of our findings at a regular conference session on Wednesday, October 28. If you're interested, you can register for the workshop here. The $40 cost includes transportation to and from the host hotel and afternoon snacks. The workshop is limited to 28 people.
Here's the session description: Visitor comfort is known to aid learning, promote mental and emotional receptivity, and increase the likelihood of a return visit; yet in many museums, comfort is not a priority. In this pre-conference workshop at the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego’s Balboa Park, participants will explore practical, economical, and simple ways that museums can help make visitors comfortable by accommodating their physical, psychological, neurological, and social needs. Participants will work together to assess public areas of the host museum in terms of comfort and accommodation and suggest potential improvements. Most critically, they will collaborate with the host museum staff to examine potential economic, institutional, and cultural barriers to making those improvements and create potential strategies for addressing and overcoming those barriers.
Photo courtesy of the Museum of Photographic Arts.