Further resources: visually-impaired visitors

Rebecca Atkinson, 15.09.2011
Useful websites and online resources about working with blind and partially-sighted visitors

Therapeutic museums (Museum Practice, 2009)
This issue of Museum Practice looks at how museums can explore their therapeutic potential.

Learning curve (Museum Practice, 2008)
People with learning difficulties are often neglected when it comes to museum access and design. But, as Marcus Weisen explains, consulting them can provide valuable insights into making your museum more inclusive.

Setting up advisory groups (Museum Practice, 2008)
Setting up an advisory group allows you to tap into specialist knowledge and different perspectives - and can give your project credibility.

held guides (Museum Practice, 2006)
This issue of Museum Practice explains how museums can develop handheld guides for different audiences.

Sight specific: visual access for smaller museums (Museum Practice, 2005)
Julie Nightingale offers some simple, low-cost improvements to make your museum a richer experience for people with a visual disability.

New media special: accessible websites (Museum Practice, 2001)
Nick Poole suggests some sources of guidance on ways to make websites accessible to all.

Cultural rights of disabled people must be implemented (Museums Journal, December 2010)
Departments for culture worldwide have no strategy to respond to this enormous human and cultural potential, despite the international policies to which they have signed up, writes Marcus Weisen.

Hidden history (Museums Journal, September 2004)
Museums and galleries are ignoring the stories behind artefacts depicting disabled people.

Seeing the light (Museums Journal, January 2002)
Everyone should have access to museums, including those who are visually impaired. Matt Shinn examines what is being done to improve their experience.


Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB)
RNIB is a UK charity offering support and advice to blind and partially-sighted people in the UK. It also provides information for businesses and organisations who work or employ people with sight problems.

Enable UK
A web accessibility specialist that works with organisations like museums to ensure websites adhere to their legal requirements.

Disability Arts Online
a web journal that gives disabled and deaf artists, performers, film-makers, writers, and critics a place to talk about developing artistic practice and accessing the arts.

A nationwide audio description service for people with a visual impairment, providing access to the arts.

Mind's Eye
Mind’s Eye provides audio description, touch tours and handling sessions, audio guides, audio brochures and descriptive tours for cultural institutions. It also offers training for museums and galleries working to enhance provision for blind and visually-impaired visitors.

You can find more organisations that offer advice about blind and partially-sighted people on the DirectGov website.


Disability and the Equality Act 2010 (DirectGov website)
Information about the Equality Act and the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.

St Dunstan’s In Touch With Art Conference 2010 (presentations and related material)
In Touch with Art 2010 explored international perspectives on equal access to museums for visually impaired people. It was organised by St Dunstan’s in partnership with the European Blind Union.

How museums use touch (YouTube)
A video overview of the ways museums can use touch to offer art experiences to people who are blind or have vision loss.

Shifting Perspectives (pdf)
RNIB report on widening museum access to blind and partially-sighted visitors.

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Rebecca, Online Publications Editor, Museums Association
MA Member, MJ Subscriber, MP Subscriber
22.02.2012, 16:22
Interesting article on BBC website about a new app to help blind people send text messages