Access: visually-impaired visitors

Making a museum or gallery accessible to visually-impaired visitors isn't just about providing Braille labels or one-off events. Deeper cultural change is needed to break down barriers and to create equal experiences for visually-impaired visitors.

In this issue of Museum Practice, Rebecca Atkinson looks at some of the practical steps museums can take to achieve this cultural change, including offering access through touch tours and audio description, and creative workshops for younger audiences.

There are also case studies on audio guides and PenFriend audio labels, as well as the Typhlological Museum in Zagreb, Croatia, which aims to raise awareness of the rights of blind people.

Finally, Your Access Case Studies is a selection of case studies on working with visually-impaired audiences from Museum Practice readers plus the opportunity for other museums and galleries to submit their own.   

Creating inclusive museums

Cultural change is needed for museums to become accessible to visually-impaired audiences

Breaking down barriers

Audio description and touch tours are two techniques for opening up museums to visually-impaired audiences

Other solutions for visually-impaired visitors

From tactile images to 3D models, there are a number of options museums can offer

Visually-impaired children

Creativity and touch are two important aspects of working with visually-impaired children

Case study: museum for the blind

The mission of the Typhlological Museum in Croatia is to raise awareness of blind people

Your access case studies

Case studies from Museum Practice readers and the chance for you to submit your own

Case study: audio guides

The IWM Duxford made access a priority from the start when designing the AirSpace gallery and audio guide

Case study: audio labels

M Shed in Bristol uses PenFriend, an audio labelling device, to improve access for visually-impaired visitors

Further resources: visually-impaired visitors

Useful websites and online resources about working with blind and partially-sighted visitors