The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, has a mission to bring people together using art. It strives to make sure that its physical spaces, programs, and services are accessible to everyone.
There are currently a number of initiatives at the AGO to promote inclusion and accessibility, including visitor services including multi-sensory tours, American Sign Language (ASL) interpreted tours, and “Art in the Moment Tours.” Multi-sensory tours are designed for individuals with vision loss, and allow visitors to engage with art through tactile experiences, verbal descriptions, sounds, and smells. ASL tours allow individuals who have hearing loss and use ASL to participate in the AGO’s interactive guided tours. Art in the Moment tours are designed for individuals with dementia and their caregivers; they include discussions and reminiscence activities based on art.
The AGO has a multi-year accessibility plan in place to improve access for visitors, staff, and volunteers with disabilities. A recent project was the revitalization of Grange Park, an outdoor public space connected to the AGO. Its eating areas, play spaces, and paths of travel now meet Ontario’s Accessibility Standards for the Design of Public Spaces.
The AGO has policies in place to establish standards for customer service as related to assistive devices, service animals, support persons, and alternate means of communication. Temporary disruptions in service that could affect visitors with disabilities are published through a variety of media. Staff and volunteers receive training on customer service standards and there are many ways for visitors to provide feedback on their experiences at the AGO. Additionally, the AGO is committed to inclusive employment practices.
To read more about the AGO’s commitment to accessibility, visit the website here. To book accessible tours, email or call Melissa Smith, Gallery Guide and Adult Education Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-979-6660 ext. 268.