Anchorage Museum adds self-guided tour scripts in Braille to make Alaska history more accessible to the blind and visually impaired
August 07, 2007
The Anchorage Museum now offers Braille guides of the Alaska Gallery for blind and visually impaired visitors, thanks to the Alaska Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, a non-profit vision rehabilitation and training facility. The organization recently translated into Braille a self-guided tour script for the museum's history gallery, the Alaska Gallery. The Anchorage Museum is one of few museums around the country with accommodations for blind and visually impaired individuals.
"It is not always easy for blind or visually impaired individuals to enjoy museums because most exhibits are designed by and for sighted people," said Pat Sims, volunteer coordinator for the Anchorage Museum. "Though many technological advances have been made to make it possible for blind and visually impaired people to participate in and enjoy arts and culture programs, many museums are still behind in the effort to make the needed modifications. That's why we felt there was a need to provide better access to this part of our community."
There are approximately 10 million blind and visually impaired people in the United States, according to the American Foundation for the Blind. Braille is the tactile method of reading and writing and is the universal language for the visually impaired.
"The museum has always tried to accommodate our clients and we are so happy and grateful for what the museum has done for them," said Karen Coady, Alaska Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. "Translating the gallery guide into Braille was a small thing that we could do for the museum."
Alaska Gallery Braille guides are available at the museum's information desk. Foreign language guides of the Alaska Gallery are also available for visitors who do not speak English. Among the languages offered are French, Spanish, German, Italian, Korean, Japanese and Russian.
For more information, call 343-6187.