• DinaKhalil

Auditing The Met

Museum Accessibility Sensory Audit

Purpose: To encourage students to investigate how people with sensory and cognitive disabilities are limited in their participation museum exhibit-based activities.

Assignment: We are expecting you to visit a museum (free NYU museum list) and perform 3 audits of how information is presented at an exhibit that creates accessibility challenges to visitors with sensory interpretation, vision, hearing, and cognitive disabilities.

- DO focus on sensory items. Examples:

o Artifact that is behind glass is inaccessible to someone who is blind or has low vision

o Loud videos being shown in an open space that may be distracting for someone with a cognitive disability

- DO NOT focus on physical barriers.

o This is NOT an accessibility survey that would look at compliance with the American Disabilities Actregulations and standards (e.g. a missing wheelchair ramp, the height of a kiosk, or finding an emergency exit if you’re blind)

Important: You are auditing JUST ONE exhibit, not a whole museum, or floor, or category.

- An exhibit is an object or a collection of objects

- You could audit 3 items in one exhibit or audit 3 different exhibitions

- Please represent at least 2 different forms of media

Due date: Before class on 2/6/2020, handed in on the NYUClasses site.


Museum and Exhibit (See above definition):

The Met, different exhibitions.

Date of Observation:

February 3rd, 2020

Student Name:

Dina Khalil

Complete this form for 3 audits:


AUDIT #1 NAME: ____Ancient Egypt____________

<Paste picture of area/item being audited here, and add alt text. If you do not have a photo, please describe it in detail.>


A picture containing indoor, cabinet, wall, building, basically a representation of a cattle stable back in the days in Egypt

A picture containing indoor, cabinet, wall, building, basically a representation of a slaughter house back in the days in Egypt

A picture containing indoor, cabinet, wall, furniture, basically a representation of a bakery back in the days in Egypt

A picture containing cabinet, indoor, wall, basically a representation of a garden back in the days in Egypt

One sentence about the accessibility challenge / good design:

Small mockup rooms that showcase different scenarios and how Egyptians used to live in that era.

Is this a challenge, or good design?

Has potential of being good

Why is this a challenge or good design?

These mockups can be accessible for anyone who is sight challenged. People with low vision can easily look closely into the details and some can even see the mockups by touching it.

These mockups were built in 2009, I’m not sure why they’re being in a glass display. It’s obvious they’re not precious pieces of historical monuments.

What functional abilities are impacted by this design?

o Sensory (vision)

Reflect on the following aspects of this design:

Impact (what is the impact of this challenge / good design on visitor experience?):

People focused more on looking at the mockups more than reading the info. card. I think it also generated more people in this section. I would assume visual learners were the main target for this section.

Persistence (How is the accessibility challenge / good design repeated in different aspects of the exhibit experience?):

About five mockups next to each other in the entire exhibition which is neither good nor bad in this case since people weren’t allowed to touch it.

Propose a possible solution (if this is a challenge), or explain why this is good design:

To shatter that glass display and just allow people to physically interact with it. Maybe only at least allow the sight challenged.

Does this relate to any other issues you observed? Discuss:

This can relate to anything that’s displayed inside glass. Museums in general can collaborate with sculptor to sculpt a replica of some of the most important historical monuments for the sight challenged to feel and see.


AUDIT #2 NAME: ___European Paintings_________

<Paste picture of area/item being audited here, and add alt text. If you do not have a photo, please describe it in detail.>


A painting hanging on a wall

One sentence about the accessibility challenge / good design:

It’d be a challenge for people with color blindness to read the name of the paintings on the info cards that are placed on the wall.

Is this a challenge, or good design?

Challenge.

Why is this a challenge or good design?

The background along with the description cards have red background which is challenging for some people to see.

What functional abilities are impacted by this design?

o Sensory (vision)

Reflect on the following aspects of this design:

Impact (what is the impact of this challenge / good design on visitor experience?):

I remember my mother, when we visited the met last year, couldn’t enter this section because it felt too dull and ugly to her.

Note: my mother has color blindness, she can see some colors but can’t see red at all.

Persistence (How is the accessibility challenge / good design repeated in different aspects of the exhibit experience?):

I’ve noticed more rooms with red backgrounds, but that display decorative art, and the furniture are placed away from the wall so I don’t think it’s that same case as the building, but still, rooms with vibrant colored backgrounds can feel suffocating for people who suffer color blindness.

Propose a possible solution (if this is a challenge), or explain why this is good design:

Maybe if there was a device to change the color of the info card’s background for the users to adjust it to their preference.

Does this relate to any other issues you observed? Discuss:

I think info cards should be unified as black and white in order to prevent people who suffer from color blindness from being uncomfortable.


AUDIT #3 NAME: _European Sculptures and Decorative Arts______

<Paste picture of area/item being audited here, and add alt text. If you do not have a photo, please describe it in detail.>


A living room filled with furniture and a fireplace. A room filled with furniture and a large window. A boiserie from hotel Lazun in Paris A.D. 1600 to 1800

A living room filled with furniture and a fireplace. A room filled with furniture and a large window. A boiserie from hotel Lazun in Paris A.D. 1600 to 1800

One sentence about the accessibility challenge / good design:

It’s challenging to see the details of the room that are away from the porch. Also the light is too dim, which is challenging for people with low vision to see anything at all.

Is this a challenge, or good design?

Challenging.

Why is this a challenge or good design?

It’s challenging to see the stunning details while you’re standing outside of the room and not able to move around and look at the details up close.

What functional abilities are impacted by this design?

o Motor

o Sensory (vision)

Reflect on the following aspects of this design:

Impact (what is the impact of this challenge / good design on visitor experience?):

People with low vision can’t see the stunning details across the room because visitors are expected to stand on a porch and look at the décor of big rooms in a very dim light. Also, the place where the visitor is expected to stand is very small. Won’t accommodate to people with walking aids.

Persistence (How is the accessibility challenge / good design repeated in different aspects of the exhibit experience?):

All of the rooms in the decorative arts section are designed in the same way. There are about 5 rooms.

Propose a possible solution (if this is a challenge), or explain why this is good design:

A cool addition to the visitor’s experience is to place an iPad next to the info cards, where they can zoom into a picture of the room they’re trying to see and adjust the brightness according to their preference.

Does this relate to any other issues you observed? Discuss:

Not necessarily related, but I’ve noticed that this exhibition has dimmer lights than most of the exhibitions at The Met. This could certainly be challenging for the people with low vision to see and enjoy most pieces in there.