The Boston Museum of Science is taking a unique approach to enable its exhibits to become more accessible to people with special learning needs. In an exclusive interview, Anna Lindgren-Streicher, Project Manager, Research & Evaluation, spoke about the path the museum has taken over more than 25 years to enable people with disabilities to enjoy the museum.
"The museum began designing exhibits to be handicap accessible over 25 years ago," she said. "The first area that was addressed was physical handicaps." Betty Davidson, a museum volunteer turned exhibit maker, began designing natural history habitat exhibits with dioramas including tactile artifacts and manipulatives such as deer antlers that could be handled. She added audio descriptions and scent so visitors could experience more authentic exhibits.
Over the last five to ten years the museum has actively addressed accessibility to learners with a wide range of disabilities, including autism, learning disabilities and cognitive disabilities.