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EDITOR’S LETTER

Opening doors – access for all

M

useums and cultural attractions have an

floor strips; interactive maps; and online information

influential role to play in our increasingly

on accessibility to facilitate pre-visit planning.

fast-paced and diverse society. Young and old alike are facing new

Including Maker Spaces in the floorplan provides special places where visitors can experiment, tinker

pressures and to meet these challenges, we must

and play. Onsite hands-on activities promote learning,

embrace a more inclusive and holistic approach.

creativity, exploration and social skills, while bridging

Removing physical and intellectual barriers while opening doors to all ages, genders, people with accessibility needs, ethnicities and social

generation gaps, engaging the public and encouraging repeat visits (see The Maker Mindset on page 114). A more holistic approach also means embracing

classes will enable us to build more supportive

social engagement with local communities. By

and thriving communities. You can read more

involving volunteers and marginalised groups such

about this in Attracting Girls to Science on

as people with accessibility needs, young offenders,

page 76 and in Sensory World on page 138.

refugees and long-term unemployed, museums and

A sound starting point is to adopt an inclusive

cultural attractions will better

design methodology by working with focus groups,

understand wider interests

advisors, campaigners and people with accessibility

and needs in society – while

needs. This collaboration must start at the initial

giving these groups new

design stage of an exhibition or new build to ensure

skills and experiences.

barrier-free access is achieved. Let the Public do the Talking on page 178 gives excellent examples. This inclusive approach enables the delivery of

These approaches must be adaptable and scalable to respond to feedback, policy,

spacious exhibits which are free from trip hazards;

funding and technology to

large glass lifts so visitors can see what’s on offer as

facilitiate enduring success.

they move through the building; clear and accessible signage; 3D images and models; guides and menus in large colour-coded print and Braille; cane-stop

Helen Patenall, editor, Attractions Management Handbook helenpatenall@leisuremedia.com

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Attractions Management Handbook 2016-2017  
Attractions Management Handbook 2016-2017