Posted on July 23rd, 2015 by Rachel
On Tuesday, the JMM interns made a trip to the National Federation of the Blind. It was an awesome experience for all of us!
A happy bunch of interns!
The first stop on the tour was their room full of technology that can be used to assist blind people. It was amazing how many different options the blind have when it comes to using technology! They showed us different styles of note takers, accessibility options on iPhones, and even calculators that can speak out loud.
These devices speak out loud and allow the blind to listen to newspapers and books.
Here the interns are learning about a binder that can read the text on the page out loud.
The next stop on the tour was their library. There were books in Braille for the blind, and books in print that related to the blind experience for sighted people to read. As well as books, there were also exhibits in the room as well.
Intern Wrangler Rachel and some of her interns look at (and touch!) art displayed in the library. The pieces are tactile so that you don’t need to see the art with your eyes in order to enjoy it.
This is a project that was completed at a STEM summer camp for blind high school students. Students worked together to solve a problem—in this case, an asteroid plummeting toward Earth—and built this solution, some sort of spacecraft.
This exhibit, about galaxies, is tactile; it has raised graphics and paragraphs in Braille so that the blind can understand the information that it conveys.
What does this trip mean for the JMM? It has widened our options to make our institution more accessible for those who cannot see, or with other disabilities. For example, this trip has motivated us to make our website more user friendly for those who are not necessarily able to see it and rely on technology to read it for them.
Now that we have gained more insight into how to make our institution more blind-friendly, we can begin to take steps to achieve that.
A blog post by Marketing Intern Carmen Venable. To read more posts by interns click HERE.
Posted on April 22nd, 2013 by Rachel
A blog post by Visitor Services Coordinator Abby Krolik.
Yesterday afternoon, the JMM dipped its toe into the new and exciting waters of accessibility-focused programming! We know other local museums often host special programs with hearing or vision impairments, but the inspiration for yesterday’s program really came from our long-time docent extraordinaire, Robyn Hughes. Robyn has been a docent here at the JMM for about eight years; she is legally blind and fluent in both Braille and American Sign Language (ASL). She approached Ilene and Deborah a couple of months ago about making Zap! Pow! Bam! more accessible for people with vision impairment. One of her ideas was to translate part of a comic book into Braille and create a twin-vision comic book (with enlarged pictures and Braille text – you can read more about that here!). You can see her handiwork in the exhibit.
Her next idea was to invite Melissa Riccobono, president of the Maryland chapter of the National Federation of the Blind, to see her twin vision comic book for Read Across America Day. That day, the idea to partner with the NFB to bring vision impaired visitors into the museum was born. We quickly decided to expand the program to people with hearing impairment as well. Talking with Robyn and Melissa has gotten our brains buzzing with ideas about how people different abilities experience our museum, and what we can do to enhance those experiences!
So, we invited representatives from the Hearing And Speech Agency (HASA) to bring in ASL interpreters and accessible activities. These sat side by side with the activities and Braille typing machine that NFB brought. Robyn, meanwhile, worked on translating more of our informational pamphlets into Braille (including the Hebrew alphabet!) and creating a script that would include vivid descriptions of our synagogues and their history, and opportunities to experience the buildings—such as the pews and the fluted columns of Lloyd Street Synagogue—through the sense of touch.
Nearly a dozen people with vision and hearing impairment came to the program, and all of them seemed to greatly enjoy our museum and Robyn’s knowledge. Based on the success of yesterday’s experiment, we are hoping to make this a regular program!
See more photos from this great event at our Facebook page!