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Tactile Rsearch

Our Tactile Exhibit project is inspired by the observation that most museums, visitors centers, historic sites, zoos and aquariums do not provide resources for visitors who are blind or have low vision. This, in turn, does not allow them access to the same exhibit information available to other visitors.

Project Goal:
The goal of the project is to create resources to assist in the development of tactile exhibits and systems that will give blind and low vision visitors access the informational content of exhibits where touching the tactile exhibit initiates an audio description of the object being touched. These resources will consist of universal design guidelines for the development of tactile exhibits with touch activated audio descriptives. Visit our Aquarium Blog and become part of our endeavor!

Research Objective:
There is currently no data regarding the effectiveness of tactile elements as part of a multi-sensory format for exhibits. Data gathered during this project will better inform designers, curators and exhibit management staff about the effectiveness of different formats used in tactile exhibit design and production. 

Research Outcomes:

  • The creation of a framework for managing technical requirements, exhibit performance, and practice outcomes.
  • The adoption of universal design best practice standards and technology design in exhibit and interpretive planning and;
  • The establishment of standards for evaluating audience response that include the blind and low vision population.
These outcomes will guide current and emerging universal design guidelines to include individuals who are blind and low vision. It will better inform the process by developing technical improvements for programmatic access to audience information for all people.
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