Establishing Sound Practice: Ensuring Inclusivity with Media Based Exhibitions

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Corey Timpson, Canada , Jutta Trevira, Canada

Published paper: Establishing Sound Practice: Ensuring Inclusivity with Media Based Exhibitions

Scheduled to open in 2014, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) is Canada’s first national museum in over 40 years. A new project, dealing with an intangible subject matter, focused on storytelling and oral history, and with absolutely no institutional legacy, the Museum has many ambitions and is attempting to realize them as efficiently and practically as possible. Nowhere is this more obvious than the CMHR’s emphasis on building an inclusive design practice across all its business streams – exhibits, public programs, facilities, policy and process, staff resources, and digital media presentation for on-site and remote audiences.

The CMHR has partnered with the Ontario College of Art and Design University’s (OCAD) Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) in order to ensure it’s in-gallery experiences can be as welcoming and usable by as many people as possible. Due to the nature of the subject matter, the in-gallery experience is largely facilitated by the presentation of digital media. Mixed-media installations are made all the more dynamic when attempting to achieve immersive experiences while remaining inclusive.

Topics explored will address barriers created by the touch screen, the accessibility of media for all potential visitors (on site, remote) irrespective of ability, approaching gesture-based and tangible interfaces, the mobile device as facilitator, and finally, human interaction.

In a human rights organization, it is all the more imperative that not only content but experience are delivered in an accessible manner. This paper and presentation will elaborate some of the work that has been undertaken by the CMHR with the IDRA in an effort ensure an inclusive experience for all visitors, and establish an inclusive design practice at the museum through all areas of operation.