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How to Make Exhibitions and Art Events Accessible

Want to make your cultural offerings accessible, but not sure where to begin? Below is a selection of guidelines for making exhibitions and events accessible to disabled people. Each has a specific target: one is a tool for artists to advocate for accessibility when working with institutions, while others are tailored toward curators, digital event managers, large museums, or small nonprofits. That’s because access is best thought of as a responsibility shared among artists, curators, and venue directors, rather than an afterthought or the job of museum educators alone. Though there is no one-size-fits-all solution to accessible exhibition design (since individual art events, like disabled peoples’ individual needs, are often unique), there are helpful precedents, standards, and regulations. As we approach the thirtieth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26, and as brick-and-mortar exhibitions are reopening around the world, listening to the wisdom of access experts remains imperative.