Friday, June 28, 2013

Wow, really?

So you're hosting an exhibit on disability and accessibility at your museum.  Cool!  It's within a day's drive of my house, so can my family come see it?  Oh.  Okay, never mind.

(Thanks to Rachel Cohen-Rattenberg for the heads up.)


Katja said...

Wow. The irony is ... immense.

Anonymous said...

It takes the breath away, because they're are TWO axes of total failure to understand the concept:

One: an exhibit on Access upstairs with a broken elevator

Two: an exhibit on Access prominently featuring brief simulations as education.

Wow. Someone is paying for this.

Penny L. Richards said...

Went back and forth with the museum about this on Twitter today. Apparently THIS exhibit is on the first floor and is accessible. Good. But the second floor of the museum isn't. To me, that's like teaching "Accessibility is really important--well, except here." The city owns the building and has to fix the elevators; the museum doesn't control that. But it does control how it presents this situation: it's not merely an "inconvenience," as they describe it, for families like mine. A museum that's willing to have inaccessible exhibits probably shouldn't host any exhibits about accessibility.

The simulations are definitely another problem. I think this is a traveling exhibit, not an original creation of the Museum of Man. So, they didn't come up with such a cliched and silly approach--but they did give it a site.

It would be cool if they committed to mounting an exhibit on disability rights, maybe in connection with the ADA anniversary coming up--and also committed to doing way, way better with accessibility in the future.

Kate said...

I saw the exhibit when it debuted in Boston. I sent them a graduate school research paper of mine on why simulations are offensive and do not work, along with a letter explaining my concerns. I also took 2 AB kids there who thought it must be so much fun to use a wheelchair all day. (This would have been in 2004/2005ish?) The Museum never responded to me.