This program is designed for blind and low vision audiences. Anyone who benefits from the verbal description of visuals is welcome. 

Join us for a tour of Cooper Hewitt’s current exhibition, Give Me a Sign: The Language of Symbols, co-led by curator Emily Orr and Accessibility & Inclusion Manager Kirsten Sweeney in collaboration with the NYPL Heiskell Braille & Talking Book Library. Together, we will examine the fascinating history behind many of the symbols that instruct, protect, entertain, empower, and connect people, and discuss the ways visual and non-visual symbols show up in our daily lives. Rich verbal descriptions and tactile recreations of symbols will accompany the tour. 

After the tour, join us for an interactive drawing workshop. Using Sensational Blackboards for tactile drawing, we will take what we’ve learned about the building blocks of symbols to design our own. No previous experience with tactile drawing is required. 

When: Saturday, August 12, 2:00– 4:00 p.m. ET
Where: Cooper Hewitt, 2 E 91st St
Participation Level: High – Participants will take a tour of the galleries and then design their own symbols in an interactive workshop. 

Register here, or send an email with your name to or call Kirsten Sweeney at 212.849.8384. 


  • Location: The tour will take place in Cooper Hewitt’s first-floor galleries. The tour will last about an hour, and portable stools are available for participants who cannot stand for long periods of time. The workshop will take place in Cooper Hewitt’s ground floor Design Studio, accessible via stairs or elevator. 
  • For general questions, including requests for additional accessibility services such as Pro-Tactile interpreting, please email us at or let us know when registering. Please make your accommodation request as far in advance as possible—preferably at least one week before the program date. 

Give Me a Sign: The Language of Symbols is made possible with generous support from the Marks Family Foundation Endowment Fund.