This presentation was presented at a conference for museum professionals. It covers what other museums are doing for accessibility and also begins the dialogue of what other sites can do to increase accessibility for visitors, including students in special education classes.
Text of TN Association of Museums Presentation: Special Education and Museums
1. Access for All:Museum EducationProgramsfor Children withSpecial NeedsBy Katie StringerTN Association of MuseumsMarch 21, 2013
2. Why create programs for children with special needs? To be a truly inclusive museum, you must offerequal opportunities for all Serve new audiences with meaningful programsOR Give your existing audience a better experiencethrough educational programs Up your attendance number by reaching newaudiences 3. Why historic sites and museums?The opportunity to: Create connections with historic people andthe past through:1. Artifacts2. Structures3. Stories of real people 4. What do SPED teachers want? Results from nation-wide survey Museums = 59% of Where students go on field trips current field trips Aquarium3% 15% do not go on ScienceMuseums Art Museumsfield trips15%12% Childrens Museums 9%Parks20% How many groupsdoes YOUR museumHistorical Sites 14%None of the see? Do you haveprograms for them?Above 15%History MuseumsLive Theater 9% 3% 5. What Do SPED TeachersWant, cont.Desired learning experiences from field tripExperiences equal Social, education Non-Educational to other classesSkills 3%Behavior al, and life skills How can 3%5% Enjoyment 5% museums offer Social Skills28%Life and SocialEducational Skills skills? Does your28% Life Skills28% museum offer opportunities for students to gain these skills? 6. What Do SPED Teachers Want, cont. Educator preferences for museum programs Hands-on and Tactile Entertaining / WithMainstreamEducational Edutainment StudentsContent 16% 19% EducationalTactile 15%Entertaining With Mainstream17%Physical8% Hands-On students 21% Individual4% 7. What are other museums doing? The Transit Museum The Jewish Museum Lower East-Side Tenement Museum 8. Transit Museum Access Programs Autism Workshops Life-Skills and Tactile 9. The Jewish Museum Summer Camps SundayWorkshops School Tours Touch Tours 10. The Lower East-Side Tenement Museum Talking Tactile Tablet Autism Tours Shop Life Touch Tours 11. What YOU Can Do:Best Practices StaffTraining Communication Safe Environment Time limits Engagement Structure AND Flexibility Adaptation HAVE FUN!