Creating Museum Media for Everyone is an NSF-funded collaborative project of the Museum of Science, the WGBH National Center for Accessible Media, Ideum, and Audience Viewpoints, to further the science museum field's understanding of ways to research, develop, and evaluate digital interactives that are inclusive of all people. As a part of this effort to enable museums to integrate more accessible media into their exhibits to make them more welcoming and educational for visitors with disabilities as well as general audiences, this paper provides an overview of approaches to media accessibility museums currently use and new approaches supported by the latest research on accessibility and personalization.
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. 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 key themes that emerged from their presentations.
The CMME project created these personas, or hypothetical archetypes of real users, to guide the design process of the prototypes produced during the Prototyping Workshop. The personas were created using real data from 11 Museum of Science research and evaluation studies. Personas can be useful in the early stages of design but should never be considered a replacement for prototype testing with real users of your target audience. Additionally, these personas were based on Museum of Science audience data and are not meant to be used externally or ...
One thing that stands out is that older-adult HCI is diverse and covers many different facets of aging. In particular, current older-adult HCI research is more than just accessibility for seniors. Work in this space asks not only how we can make everyday technologies more accessible to older adults, but also, what kinds of new technologies we can design to support their unique needs. This work thus extends into other HCI communities, including HCI for health and for families.
Children with autism live in an experiential world that is different from that of other children or adults. Therefore, designers need to make effort in to understand these children’s needs and preferences.
While science museums hold great potential for being welcoming and inclusive of visitors with a broad range of abilities and disabilities, the question remains: Do we live up to that potential?
Interactive sonification systems can make georeferenced data accessible to people with vision impairments. The authors compare methods for using sound to encode georeferenced data patterns and for navigating maps.
This paper explores an approach based on the single largest commonality of this variety of applications and toolkits: they all ultimately produce pixels on a display. If it were possible to interpret the structure of these pixels, a variety of advanced behaviors might be implemented independent of individual applications and toolkits.
For blind people, accessing touch screen interfaces remains a significant challenge, as most touch screens rely on visual interaction and are not usable by touch and audio alone.
“This document contains guidelines (listed together in the Overview section) as well as design tools (listed in conjunction with the guidelines in Section B).…They represent Smithsonian methods for arriving at the laws' required end: accessible exhibitions that work for people with disabilities as well as for the rest of the public. Together the guidelines become the Smithsonian standard for accessible exhibition design.” (Majewski)
“This paper presents results of a qualitative research study examining how 16 users of a broad range of abilities and disabilities use computer interactives in museum exhibitions that were created using universal design.” (Reich)
“Museums, science centers, zoos and aquaria are faced with educating and entertaining an increasingly diverse visitor population with varying physical and sensory needs. There are very few guidelines to help these facilities develop non-visual exhibit information, especially for dynamic exhibits. In an effort to make such informal learning environments (ILEs) more accessible to visually impaired visitors, the Georgia Tech Accessible Aquarium Project is studying auditory display and sonification methods for use in exhibit interpretation.” (Walker, Godfrey, Orlosky, Bruce, & Sandord)
“This chapter give a broad introduction to sonification, and discusses the guiding theoretical considerations for sonification researchers and designers. It brings in many of the insights from relevant domains of research, and offers areas where future researchers could answer unresolved questions or make fruitful clarifications or qualifications to the field.” (Walker & Nees)
“The prevalence of videogaming in their households is higher than ever. The presence of a disability in senior populations is also higher then ever as people live longer. As we age so do our chances of having chronic medical issues. All of which can affect the ability for this population to be peak consumers of videogames.” (Robinson & Walker)
“With the Museum of Science’s strong commitment to universal design and accessibility, along with our growing identification as a research institution, it was a natural choice to leverage the Multimedia Tour’s video capabilities to develop an ASL version. The project was viewed as largely experimental in nature with the Museum testing interest and design for future ASL tour guides on site for the field.” (Chin & Reich)
“In this study, we introduce the digital backpack as a means for creating a rich learning experience for students of multiple ages. Development, design, and refinement of the digital backpack are grounded in the theoretical framework of Universal Design for Learning using a Design-Based Research (DBR) model.” (Basham, Meyer, & Perry)
“In the museum world, what do we mean by “universal design”? How widely is it practiced? What do practitioners see as its advantages and disadvantages?” (Tokar)
“This report provides a summary of the investigations and inquiries of the Center for the Advancement of Informal Science Education Access Inquiry Group….” (Reich, Prince, Rubin, & Steiner)
“The guidelines presented in this report focus on the universal design of public programs.” (The NISE Network)
“People with disabilities represent a large, diverse and important audience for museums and galleries. The aim of this study is to give voice to the views of visitors with disabilities and suggest ways in which museums and galleries can better support their access needs.” (Landman, Fishburn, Kelly, & Tonkin)
“Evaluators face a challenge in responding to a call for greater inclusiveness of marginalized groups. In this presentation, I examine the contribution that transformative theory can make toward meeting this challenge.” (Mertens)
“Star Wars: Where Science Meets Imagination is a National Science Foundation funded project which developed a national traveling exhibition on science and technology themes depicted in the Star Wars movies. The Museum of Science, Boston (MOS) developed the exhibition in collaboration with Lucasfilm Ltd. and Science Museum Exhibit Collaborative (SMEC)….The purpose of this summative study is to provide information to allow the exhibition team, SMEC, and funders to decide if the exhibition accomplished its intended outcomes.” (Tisdal)
“This document contains the designers’ version of the Universal Design Performance Measures for Products. These Performance Measures are intended to guide the development of more universally usable products.” (The Center for Universal Design)
“The Universal Design File discusses the history of universal design and provides excellent illustrations of each principle.” (Story, Mueller, & Mace)
“This article shines an important light on the continuing struggle of disabled people for dignity, citizenship rights, and access to the marketplace.” (Loewen & Pollard)
Despite growing awareness of the accessibility issues surrounding touch screen use by blind people, designers still face challenges when creating accessible touch screen interfaces.
This paper presents some results of a research work concerning algorithms and computational models for real-time analysis of expressive gesture in full-body human movement.
Guidelines for making iTunes U multimedia accessible through the use of captions, subtitles and audio descriptions. Includes sample accessible video and audio clips.
Properly designed e-books, software, Web sites and learning management systems can and must be accessible to all users with disabilities. The principles of universal design — designing to meet the needs of as many users as possible — provide a new dimension for improving the usability of electronic materials for everyone.
For the past twenty years there has been a slow trickle of research disseminated through a variety of channels on the nature and use of computer interactives within museum and gallery environments. This research has yet to be consolidated into a robust and coherent evidence base for considering and understanding the continued investment in such interactives by institutions. Simultaneously, however, the technology has changed almost beyond recognition from early kiosk-based computer exhibits featuring mostly film and audio content, through to the ...
Research in multitouch interfaces has increased significantly in the last years. For the most part, this is due to the emergence of multitouch hardware which can easily be built from off-the-shelf components.
Developers often end up writing code for this process from scratch due to the lack of higher-level frameworks for defining new gestures. Gesture recognition can contain a significant amount of work since it often involves complex, platform-specific algorithms.