Access+Ability

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Image of Sina Bahram,Director of Prime Access Consulting (PAC), at a podium, giving a lecture to a group of 50 people sitting around tables.
Lab | Verbal Descriptions with Columbia University Digital Storytelling Lab
What language best communicates the qualities of an object? How do we form meaning from what we see, hear, and touch? Museums and institutions around the world use verbal descriptions—nonvisual language to describe the visual world—to make their collections and resources accessible to people with blindness or low vision. Short talks by accessibility experts, artists,...
A High-Performance Prosthetic
In celebration of the museum’s inaugural Cooper Hewitt Lab: Design Access taking place in the Barbara and Morton Mandel Design Gallery through February 16, we are highlighting innovative accessible design from the permanent collection. The Flex-Foot Cheetah incorporates untraditional materials to solve a design problem that had vexed the medical field for years: finding a...
Image of Paul Orselli, President and Chief Instigator, POW! and blogger ExhibiTricks, standing to introduce himself during a panel discussion at Cooper Hewitt. Audience members and panelists look on. Paul wears a red t-shirt with the words "Museums are not neutral" printed on it.
Lab | Universal Design Panel with Museum Access Consortium
The seven principles of Universal Design (1997) provide a philosophy and framework for creating inclusive and accessible places and experiences. The workshop brings together educators, curators, and spatial and interactive designers to examine how exhibition developers have used Universal Design in their work for museums and sites of life-long learning. Panelists include: Steven Landau, Research...
Image of panel discussion from Access + Ability symposium
Lab | Showcase of Student Projects on Accessibility and Inclusion
University-level students were invited to submit design ideas for a premier showcase of student projects on solutions for improving accessibility or inclusion. All accepted entries will be on view in the Barbara and Morton Mandel Design Gallery from February 5, 2018 through February 25, 2018. Students present their ideas, and a panel of experts discuss...