Everyone’s Museum

Stevie Wonder is quoted as saying "we need to make every single thing accessible to every single person with a disability." Many museums provide content that is highly visual and experiences that are stimulating but how do we, as a field, embrace that 13% of our audience has a disability? How can we work towards an audience that is representative of our community? In order to create the opportunity for a more equitable experience for our visitors with vision loss or blindness, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences has partnered with BlindSquare to provide an independent wayfinding and navigational experience within our facility. Using small battery powered Bluetooth iBeacons the museum has created matrix network that allows for a seamless navigation of our indoor exhibits for an individual using their phone with an installed application. Visitors with vision loss are able to navigate to important areas such as information desks and restrooms, as well as to different exhibits throughout the facilities without the need for sighted guides, friends or family to help navigate. By removing an architectural barrier that is a standard part of life for those with vision loss, the NC Museum of Natural Sciences increases its welcoming environment, and provides a visitor experience that is enhanced for this audience group. Speaker(s) Session Leader : Liani Yirka, Accessibility & Inclusion Coordinator, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences MCN 2016 Presenting Sponsor: Piction New Orleans, LA