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Accessible PracticesWorkshopsDescriptions

From 2000 to 2002, ASTC and six cohosting U.S. science centers cohosted a total of 12 workshops to support ASTC member institutions as they work to welcome and accommodate visitors with disabilities. Half of the workshops focused on facilities and visitor services, and half on interactive exhibits. Each modeled a team or group approach to working toward accessible practices. Teams were composed of science center and museum professionals, ADA professionals, and people with various disabilities. These workshops were part of ASTC's effort, as stated by the Board, to "aggressively pursue equity and diversity."

Mark Hand reads accessibility checklist while seated in a wheelchair. Workshops were hosted by the:

New England by the Museum of Science, Boston, Massachusetts
Mid-Atlantic by the Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Southeast by the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science, Durham, North Carolina
Midwest by the St. Louis Science Center, St. Louis, Missouri, and the Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota
West by The Exploratorium, San Francisco, California

Facilities and visitor services professionals who attended the one–day intensive workshop had opportunities to

  • learn how to conduct an access inventory
  • learn how to incorporate a transition/implementation access plan throughout their institutions
  • take home an information–packed binder
  • network with colleagues from science centers and museums in the region
  • link with a national network working toward excellence in visitor services by increasing access to informal educational institutions for visitors with disabilities and their families
  • help move their institutions toward ADA compliance

Exhibitions professionals who attended the two–day interactive workshop will had opportunities to

  • find ways to solve common design challenges
  • network with colleagues
  • learn from museum visitors with physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities
  • ask questions about museums' obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
  • consult with ADA professionals from their areas
  • become familiar with checklists, guidelines, and regional resources
  • take home an information–packed binder
  • rethink exhibit planning, design, and fabrication with accessibility in mind
To learn more about these workshop activities and participants, visit our photo album page.
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