Accessible Exhibition Design

In an effort to be responsive to the diversity of visitors to its museums, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., has published Smithsonian Guidelines for Accessible Exhibition Design. As the Smithsonian has responded to the diversity of its audiences by developing more responsive exhibitions, it has recognized that “accessible design must be a part of this new philosophy of exhibition development because people with disabilities are part of the museums’ diverse audience.”

The comprehensive guidelines address such areas as exhibition content, label design and text, audiovisuals and interactives, the circulation route, colour, lighting and public programming spaces. For each area, the document includes the accessibility standards that must be met and methods to achieve those standards. The guidelines are viewed as a “living” document and will be of interest to exhibition designers, curators, educators and other members of a museum team.

To view Smithsonian Guidelines for Accessible Exhibition Design, click here.