Creating Museum Media for Everyone (CMME), a National Science Foundation (NSF) Enhanced Pathways Grant, held a five-day workshop in May 2012 that brought together 55 museum professionals and accessibility experts in fields such as formal science and special education, technology product development, gaming, accessible technologies, and universal design and Universal Design for Learning. The overarching purpose was to help launch the work of the core team from the Museum of Science (MOS), the WGBH National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM), Ideum, and Audience Viewpoints in developing the next generation of universally designed computer-based museum interactives.
At the beginning of the workshop, eleven experts presented ideas from their own fields that could help museums be more inclusive informal education settings. This white paper provides an overview of the following key themes that emerged from their presentations:
–Museums can become more welcoming to all visitors by basing their work on approaches that stress inclusion.
–Using diverse techniques will allow museums to meaningfully engage a range of individuals in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning.
–Communicating STEM concepts in multi-sensory ways and providing apparent accessibility options can help museums be places where all visitors can participate.
–Evaluation, especially involving people with disabilities, is crucial for developing inclusive museum experiences.