The Art of Inclusion

When we consider how to create buildings and activities that are inclusive to all, we might not think of art galleries. But the people at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, in Kleinburg, Ontario, Canada, have not only thought about it, they’ve written a book. And it’s available to download for free.

The book is entitled The Art of Inclusion: A Guide to Developing and Delivering Accessible and Inclusive Programs within Arts and Cultural Organizations. The purpose of the guide is “to help other organizations develop and deliver the best programs possible.”

The book is divided into seven steps (in the spirit of the Group of Seven): Define Goals, Develop Partnerships with Organizations, Assess Target Audience and Work Environment, Program Design, Program Promotion, Program Delivery, and Evaluate and Share Program.

Appendices include potential funding agencies, examples of successful programs, a template for participant profiles, special considerations for outdoor and indoor spaces, an example of a visual schedule, guidelines for terminology for disabilities and several others.

The guide supports the McMichael’s vision “to provide an extraordinary place where all people can explore Canadian culture and identity. This vision of a place for all people is met by increasing audience engagement locally, nationally, and internationally, within an environment of accessibility and inclusion.”

The guide is packed with information and goes beyond general statements. So, for example, in the program delivery section, it addresses the need for special handling of transitioning from one activity to another or one space to another for people with autism spectrum disorder.

To learn more about The Art of Inclusion or to download a copy of the book, visit the McMichael website here.