Visitors with disabilitiesThe term 'disabled' covers a wide variety of conditions ranging from those who are temporarily on crutches or permanently confined to wheelchairs, to those who are hearing, sight or intellectually impaired.
Visitors in wheelchairsThe main difficulties faced by those who are physically disabled relate to access, not only to the building but also the exhibits. To provide easy access for wheelchairs as well as for other visitors with restricted mobility (eg. parents with prams, the elderly), your centre/attraction should have:
Visitors with visual impairmentDesign elements that accommodate visitors with limited vision include:
If you are designing models and replicas that will be exposed to regular handling they must be simple and robust.Visually impaired visitors will need to get within 75mm of signs to read text.
Visitors with hearing difficulties
Catering for hearing impaired visitors involves:
- ensuring that any information presented audibly is also presented visually;
- captioning audio-visual displays;
- ensuring that displays which rely on sound to convey meaning are accompanied by additional graphics;and
- designing attractions so that the sound from separate exhibits do not overlap or interfere with each other.
Visitors with learning difficultiesThe term 'learning difficulties' refers to a range of conditions that vary widely from one person to the next, however, the following are particularly appropriate for this group:
- short, simply worded labels that clearly explain any technical terms;
- limited text;
- stories, clear themes and repetition;
- large print and clear colour contrasts;
- simple graphics;
- exhibits that are multi-sensory (eg. tactile, audio-visual, olfactory);
- varied activities (eg. dance, drama, mime, drawing, craft); and
- text and photographs that include the experiences of those with disabilities.
You are designing an exhibit about railways and the role they had in opening up remote areas. Your centre attracts a large number of families and primary school children, including children from a 'special needs' school.What activities could you include to stimulate interaction and learning for these groups? What props and displays could you design that would be particularly suitable for those with visual and hearing difficulties?