Conversations about inclusivity and accessibility have become common place within the museum community. Issues of inclusivity can take account of a variety of audiences with special needs: those with mobility limitations, deaf/hearing impaired, blind/visually impaired, developmental, cognitive, or learning disabilities, and on the autism spectrum. As many museums have realized over the past two decades, people with special needs are an important audience; one that should not be ignored. But how can museums and historic sites make their programming and interpretative goals inclusive to those groups? And how can we be more purposeful in our efforts to better serve everyone in our communities?

Join AASLH and Katie Stringer Clary in a conversation on how museums and historic sites can create inclusive programming and educational experiences for history lovers of all ages and abilities. Going beyond basic ADA compliance, this webinar will provide examples and strategies for cultural organizations to be better stewards of history and accessible to diverse audiences.

About the Speaker

Dr. Katie Stringer Clary currently teaches history and public history at Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina.  Since 2007, Dr. Clary has worked with museums in various capacities from docent to executive director.  In her time at museums and as a graduate student in Public History she focused on museum education and inclusion, especially for people with special needs.  This research culminated in her 2014 manuscript, Programming for People with Special Needs: A Guide for Museums and Historic Sites.  She followed this with a chapter “Accessibility in Museum Learning” in Museum Learning, 2nd Ed. edited by Barry Lord and Brad King in 2015.  Through her work, she continues to advocate for accessibility equality in museums and historic sites and presented as a discussant in a ongoing working group on this topic at the National Council for Public History in March of 2016.

Take a look at Dr. Clary’s AASLH published book, Programming for People with Special Needs: A Guide for Museums and Historic Sites here and her blog Something Old, Something New here.

For an example on how programming for visitors with special needs can be done, check out Caroline Braden’s “Focusing on Guests with Special Needs: Examples and Insights from The Henry Ford,” and Katie Poole’s “Inclusivity and Accessibility at Museums: It’s Worth the Work.”