Reporting to the Head of Visitor Experience, the Accessibility and Inclusion Manager will work closely with the Chief Experience Officer, Visitor Experience, Digital and Emerging Media, Operations, Communications, Exhibition, and Education departments on projects that further Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum’s (CHSDM) commitment to providing an accessible and inclusive experience to visitors with disabilities. The Accessibility and Inclusion Manager will provide guidance and counsel on accessibility and inclusion issues and participate in developing and implementing programs for relevant audiences ensuring that access is fully integrated across all museum activities.
SUMMARY OF DUTIES
• Manage rollout of a CHSDM accessibility roadmap to strategically build initiatives and efforts to continue to improve access across the physical site, virtual platforms, and visitor services.
• Serve as a liaison between the central Smithsonian Accessibility Office in Washington, DC. and CHSDM. Collaborate on projects with other Smithsonian units and the central office in support of improved access.
Capacity Building Projects
• Develop a robust accessibility and inclusion training program for staff and volunteers, particularly visitor services, docents, security, and public programming staff who may be interacting more frequently with people with a wide range of abilities.
• Oversee the internal Inclusive Design Working Group (comprised of cross-departmental staff) and the Accessibility Advisory Committee of people with disabilities or their advocates. Work closely with the CHSDM Diversity and Affinity Group to ensure that accessibility and inclusion initiatives and programs are aligned and integrated with the wider strategic concerns of the museum. Maintain contact through mailings, questionnaires, and meetings.
• Review and monitor CHSDM’s strategies, products, practices, campus, and resources related to the accessibility and inclusion of people with disabilities so that the institution can be in full compliance, specifically related to facilities, exhibitions, public programs, education and marketing materials, and website. Conduct on-going assessments of policies, practices, and programs to ensure that they are equally accessible and inclusive to people with and without disabilities.
• Remain current on leading knowledge of accessibility and inclusion issues, best practices and share them with staff as necessary.
• Ensure that the Museum-wide, in-gallery interpretation initiatives are accessible and inclusive, including written, digital, and live dialogue for exhibitions and collections. Manage evaluation of accessible and inclusive in-gallery initiatives and designs based on innovative interpretive practices, data, research, exhibition, and audience goals.
• Collaborate with Education staff to develop accessible and inclusive visits to the Museum and assist with recruitment of relevant staff as needed. Develop regularly scheduled programs to engage disability audiences including: Morning at the Museum, Touch Tours, and memory loss programming. Create and promote educational resources and programming designed to include people with disabilities.
• Co-design and collaborate with people with disabilities to improve the museum’s programs, services, and evaluation practices, working closely with the museum’s Interaction Lab (R&D audience experience program embedded in the museum).
• Lead and build on the museum’s successful cross-departmental image description project to ensure equitable online experiences for individuals with disabilities who use assistive technologies when navigating our website and collections site. Work closely with the Digital and Emerging Media team, to lead the implementation and rollout of Coyote, an open-source, cloud-hosted toolkit, to manage workflow around creating, reviewing, managing, and publishing descriptions online.
• Consult on CHSDM’s digital messaging and resources with the goal of promoting accessibility and inclusion in collaboration with Communications, IT, and Digital Emerging Media departments.
• Review and advise on exhibition plans throughout the development process, evaluating for accessibility, inclusive considerations, and best practices.
• Serve as a primary liaison among the disability community, service organizations, and design practitioners. Steward strategic partnerships for fostering community awareness and support between the disability community and CHSDM. Represent CHSDM’s accessibility and inclusive practices at national conferences and lectures and produce related research.
Knowledge of contemporary philosophies, trends, research, and issues in museum education and museum interpretation.
Demonstrable experience of successfully leading accessibility and inclusion initiatives, ideally in a museum or not-for- profit setting.
Knowledge of the American with Disabilities Act 1990, its implementing regulations, and disability-related policies as they apply to public institutions.
Ability to serve as a program manager for museum accessibility, inclusion, and museum interpretation.
Ability to create programming and information for people of all abilities including people with physical, vision, hearing, cognitive, and developmental disabilities.
Ability to present ideas and to demonstrate interpretation strategies that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Understanding and ability to advocate for people of all abilities, including people with physical, vision, hearing, cognitive, and developmental disabilities.
Skill in developing and establishing working relationships with all levels of staff, volunteers, and the general public.
TEMPORARY APPOINTMENT: One year full-time appointment that may be extended beyond the one year (based on performance and budget).
• Telework available.
• Permanent Duty Station is 2 East 91st Street, New York, NY 10128 (must be available to report to this location January 3, 2022).
SMITHSONIAN EXCEPTIONAL BENEFITS:
Life Insurance (including Optional Life Insurance)
Voluntary Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance
Long Term Disability
Health Insurance (Blue Cross Blue Shield)
Dental (Delta Dental)
Vision (Vision Services)
Flexible Spending Accounts
Annual Leave (13 days)
Sick Leave (13 days)
Federal Holidays (10 days)
Family Friendly Leave
Family Friendly Workplace
Telework+Alternative Work Schedules
Historic and landmark offices/library and garden (New York)
Curatorial Talks and Tours (Cooper Hewitt)
Employee Assistance Program
Museum Shop (employee discount)
Free Admission to most NYC museums
HOW TO APPLY?
Please submit a cover letter and resume (addressing qualification requirements) to: Carolyn Royston, Chief Experience Officer, HRaim@si.edu
Deadline: Thursday, July 29, 2021