Accessibility Knowledge Products
Together over a six-month study, Accessibility Learning Collaborative participants in regions across the state gained sensitivity and practical tools to intentionally design for diverse audiences’ experiences both inside and outside of the museum. Participants created the following knowledge products (each title serves as a hyperlink) to document the key takeaways from their study and share recommendations for fellow museum colleagues’ accessibility practices.
The following list is presented in alphabetical order by region.
For planning museum exhibitions and programming, the Central Coast region created a trifold guide organized by the acronym “ACCESS” (Audience, Comfort, Culture, Engagement, Socioeconomic, and Special Needs) in which each section provides a series of questions to self-evaluate programs and operations for accessibility.
All Ages, Abilities, Cultures, Always
The Central Valley region produced a clear and easy-to-use checklist for museum professionals that frames accessibility around museum visitors’ physical, social/cognitive, and cultural sensitivities.
Deserts Region Accessibility Collaborative Knowledge Product
This three-page document offers reflection and insight into the Deserts region’s learning process and the evolution of their thinking and shared definitions for "accessibility" and "inclusion” in museum practices.
A Culture of Inclusion: Recommendations for Museum Accessibility Policy
The Gold Country region produced a six-page document outlining core criteria to consider in crafting museum accessibility policies: Feedback, Universal Design, Diversity Training, Inclusion, Inviting Atmosphere, Education, External Access, and Evaluation. Users may read the document in its entirety or jump to select criteria. References and resources are also embedded.
Museum Accessibility Secret Shoppers
The Inland Empire participants became anonymous "secret shoppers" to investigate regional museums for accessibility interventions and considerations. This slideshow reveals their findings.
The Accessibility Pyramid
The Los Angeles region crafted a one-page accessibility checklist, designed to be cutout and folded into a pyramid – a perfect visual prompt for one’s desk. The three-dimensional checklist is divided into three main sections (Rest & Refreshment, Entering & Leaving Exhibits, and Labels) and each section details further prompts for accessibility considerations.
Accessibility Haiku Deck
This concise slide deck shares high-level accessibility takeaways from the North Coast region.
North Coast ALC Participant Reflection
Additionally in a one-page reflection, a North Coast participant shares her personal consideration of accessibility practices in regional museums.
Accessibility Knowledge Product
For a practical guide in approaching accessibility issues regarding the museum visitor experience, the Orange County region has documented four concrete and applicable takeaways from their shared study: 1) Failure is a learning opportunity; 2) Understand and involve the community; 3) Look at the museum community for guidance; 4) [Plan for] Past, present, and future guests. This guide concludes with a list of core resource recommendations.
Creating an Inclusion & Diversity Policy
This co-created guide documents the San Diego region’s learning concerning "diversity" and "inclusion" in museum practice. It offers sample policies and highlights model organizations while prompting users to consider important organizational questions around accessibility. The guide also provides scaffolding and a group activity for drafting a museum inclusion policy.
Under $100 Fixes
The San Diego region also worked to reinterpret a list of simple accessibility fixes for under $100, originally created by Betty Siegel, Director of Accessibility for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Visualize accessibility interventions in a four-quadrant graph organized from least to greatest impact across one axis and easiest to most demanding implementation across the other axis… Participants in the San Francisco region mapped accessibility interventions for fellow museum professionals in an interactive Prezi that also includes topical resources and examples.
Audience Research Knowledge Products
Together over a six-month study, Audience Research Learning Collaborative participants in regions across the state learned to think “evaluatively” to design small, practical audience research studies and collect meaningful data. Participants created the following knowledge products (each title serves as a hyperlink) to document the key takeaways from their study and share recommendations for fellow museum colleagues’ evaluation practices.
The following list is presented in alphabetical order by region.
2.5 Hour Evaluation Challenge
Central Coast regional participants created a template for any museum team interested in designing a pilot evaluation. Along with the evaluation study, this knowledge product provides an easy, step-by-step process for creating and implementing the pilot study and, later, reflecting on the instrument, it’s implementation, and assessing the collected data.
Three Final Take-Aways
This three-page reflection captures the Deserts region primary takeaways around evaluation design, methodology, stakeholder communication, and changing practice based on findings.
What We Learned
The Gold Country region assembled a slide deck to document lessons learned in their evaluation case study at the Crocker Museum. Their reflections and advice for audience research practices also incorporate recommended resources.
Inland Empire Audience Research Collaborative 2015
This Prezi provides a straightforward account of the Inland Empire region’s audience research case study process and learning.
Evolution of a Survey
As a playful read, the Los Angeles region documented their case study work in designing a survey for visitors to the USC Pacific Asia Museum. This slide deck is filled with images that document their survey’s iterations and recommendations from the poignant lessons learned, such as “Be fearless, be quick, be open!”
Questioning the Questions
Online Only study group participants designed a clear, one-page overview of helpful guiding questions that urge museum professionals to be intentional in their audience research efforts.
How-To: Museum Evaluation
The Orange County region compiled a museum practitioner’s guide for designing and implementing audience research. This knowledge product is presented as a one-page summary for those who wish to hit the ground running and is followed by a more in-depth, step-by-step guide from focusing the primary research question to relaying findings to stakeholders.
Team Japanese Friendship Garden
One half of the San Diego region’s participants applied their case study to the Japanese Friendship Garden. This knowledge product documents audience research efforts and preliminary findings for a digital survey instrument and informal observations to assess intergenerational family involvement at the garden.
The other half of the San Diego region’s participants applied their case study to the San Diego Zoo. This knowledge product documents audience research efforts and findings about visitors’ connections to the Asian Leopards exhibit across three evaluation methods: 1) an in-person, informal questionnaire; 2) a free-choice voting board; and 3) passive video recording of the exhibit area.
Come Sort These Pictures
San Francisco regional participants created a slide deck to recount their case-study evaluation efforts to determine “What would make you want to become a Member?” at the Chabot Space and Science Center.
How to Design a Museum Audience Research Study
The Shasta Cascade region produced this simple, one-page, graphic road map to guide museum practitioners through critical process considerations in designing audience research studies.
Engagement Strategies Knowledge Products
Together over a six-month study, Engagement Strategies Learning Collaborative participants in regions across the state deepened their shared insights in aligning institutional goals to strengthen community engagement practices. Participants created the following knowledge products (each title serves as a hyperlink) to document the key takeaways from their study and share recommendations with fellow museum colleagues concerning audience engagement practices.
The following list is presented in alphabetical order by region.
Commit to Engage!
Any individual, department, or organization interested in deepening engagement practices, may sign the Central Coast region’s contract, a formal commitment to engagement to declare their intention. Targeted questions may be returned to in reflection and continued alignment for organizational engagement goals and intentions.
Progression of Understanding Engagement Strategies
The Central Valley region documented participants’ evolving understanding of engagement as a slide deck replete with visuals. The final slide concludes with the insight that "Engagement is a continuous loop, not a straight line, and it is most successful when that loop is unobstructed.”
A Declaration of Engagement: 10 Core Truths for Engaging Audiences in the 21st Century
The Deserts region crafted a reference checklist of 10 simple points to drive focused discussions with interdepartmental teams and stakeholders when creating captivating programming and deciding on how to best engage audiences.
Passport to Engagement
Have you been looking for a bibliography of the leading resources about museum engagement practices? The Gold Country region has crafted just the tool for you – it may be used as a quick & easy reference or followed as an in-depth syllabus organized by leading questions, from “What is engagement?” to “How do you identify your engagement goals?” and “What is an Engagement Intervention?”
Annotated Bibliography on Engagement Strategies
The High Sierra region also prepared an annotated bibliography from select resources recommended in the Learning Collaborative syllabus along with others identified by the region's participants about museum exhibition design and tours.
Identifying Engagement Tumblr
Examples of visitor engagement can be found throughout the Inland Empire region. Program participants here created this Tumblr account to highlight the engagement strategies they recognized around them. What’s more, you too may submit your own examples of engagement to the Tumblr!
Engagement Strategies - Starting From Within
How do institutions change to become more inclusive and engaging? The Los Angeles region created an insightful infographic that documents a pathway for the organizational change process from the individual to the institution, and finally to the holistic relationship with the public they serve.
Engagement Strategies Haiku Deck
This concise slide deck shares high-level engagement takeaways from the North Coast region.
Reflections and Personal Commitments
Online Only study group participants published a collection of personal commitments to deepening their engagement practices within the capacity of their own professional roles.
5 Tips for Creating a Culture of Engagement at Your Institution
PRINTABLE VERSION: 5 Tips for Creating a Culture of Engagement at Your Institution
This handbook by the Orange County region is organized by five key practices for deepening engagement practices from creating organizational buy-in across departments to accepting and learning from mistakes made. Each section includes clarifying questions for teams to consider, recommended protocols for meetings, and leading resources.
Based on an initial activity in the Learning Collaborative experience, the San Diego region produced this report of varied engagement examples from museums and other organizations that share many qualities, such as having multiple points of entry, allowing for shared learning, or are tactile or immersive. This may inspire your museum team to do the same.
Tools For Change
The San Diego region also assembled a four-step guide as suggestions for building new engagement programs. This guide outlines the internal work of institutional collaboration, working with community, gathering stakeholders, and testing new strategies.
Cards for Engagement
What could be more engaging than playing a game to better consider the many perspectives and roles in making museums more engaging? The San Francisco region crafted this card game to help foster empathy between allies and those who may resist change. Use the cards to shape conversations and encourage players to expand their perspectives.
Five Things Every Museum Should Keep in Mind
The Shasta Cascade region designed an annotated bibliography around five core practices for increasing authentic visitor engagement, outlined at the document’s opening. Following the bibliography’s citations, an overview is provided for each of the recommended resources.
This project was made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, grant number MG-10-14-0010-14.