Producing Inclusive Exhibitions with the National Maritime Museum
Disabled and Deaf people (who use British Sign Language) can often miss out when visiting and experiencing heritage attractions. Reasons for this can include; physical barriers, a lack of accessible interpretation, and staff and volunteers who are inexperienced at providing an inclusive welcome. Ensuring interpretative displays, exhibitions and accompanying literature are accessible helps secure repeat visits, encourages positive reviews and makes an attraction stand out as an inclusive destination.
Over the last 4 years, and with support from Heritage Ability, the National Maritime Museum Cornwall (NMMC) has moved to put accessibly at the top of its agenda. In the past, NMMC has made retrospective adaptations to designs as an afterthought. Heritage Ability has worked closely with NMMC to develop exhibitions and displays that are accessible to all visitors.
Heritage Ability met with NMMC at quarterly diversity meetings helping staff working at all levels within the charity to stay focused on accessibility. The Heritage Ability team ensured that materials that were designed in-house at NMMC were designed with accessibility in mind. The team provided advice on design, text size, font style and contrasting colours when NMMC was creating accessible materials.
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Heritage Ability’s vision is that disabled and Deaf people with their families and friends have meaningful, inspiring and life-enriching experiences with the South West’s rich and varied heritage. We support the region’s heritage to develop a sustainable disability and Deaf friendly culture, improve their visitor experiences and become more resilient.