Accessibility in Exhibition Design

Thursday, October 18 - 12:45pm to 2:00pm


Carolyn Smith, Project Coordinator, Intern Architect, Reich + Petch Design International; Pauline Dolovich, Associate Architect, Senior Designer, Reich + Petch Design International; Dave Hollands, Head of Exhibits and Design, Royal Ontario Museum

Download the presentation materials (9.2 MB) 

Pauline Dolovich
Pauline Dolovich, Associate Architect, Senior Designer, Reich + Petch Design International
Carolyn Smith
Carolyn Smith, Project Coordinator, Intern Architect, Reich + Petch Design International


Session Description

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, particularly its built environment standard about to be enacted, has radically changed the conversation in Ontario about accessibility.

Accessibility is an all-encompassing premise. It is extremely important to recognize that Accessibility is not only about providing physical access for people in wheelchairs. Accessibility today is a much broader requirement to accommodate those with visible and invisible disabilities. As public institutions, Museums need to actively respond to these new regulations.

Reich + Petch has built their reputation on creating informative and interactive exhibits that focus on the needs of the visitor and are very aware that "Visitors are Various". As exhibition designers for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, one of the most forward thinking institutions in North America responding to accessibility, they have discovered that consciously designing for people who have unique needs and providing information in a variety of formats, creates exhibits that are more engaging and accessible for everyone.
Carolyn Smith and Pauline Dolovich will examine specific exhibition work from a wide range of projects (Canadian and US, large and small) that showcase engaging and compelling accessible design solutions including the following case study examples:

• The David H Koch Hall of Human Origins, Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History
• Upper Canada Village Exhibits, Upper Canada Village Visitor Centre, Morrisberg, ON
• Surviving: The Body of Evidence Travelling Exhibit, University of Penn Museum of Anthropology and Archaelogy

The Royal Ontario Museum has focused on accessibility as a key part of its planning for new exhibitions. As a follow up to his presentation at the OMA Accessibility Symposium on April 5, 2012, Dave Hollands will present the ROM’s approach to accessible design and highlight accessible design solutions developed for exhibits including the ROM’s recent blockbuster show ‘ Ultimate Dinosaurs: Giants from Gondawana’.
The group will also review an exhibit design accessibility good practice handout developed by Reich + Petch.


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