The Missouri History Museum has launched another series of Access Tours, a program designed for visitors who are blind or low vision, deaf or hard of hearing, or those with memory loss.

Moving beyond physical accessibility, the program is comprised of American Sign Language (ASL) and memory-loss presentations. Curator-led descriptive tours give visitors who are blind or low vision a chance to explore exhibits through descriptions of artifacts and touchables.

The ASL tours are led by a docent accompanied by an ASL interpreter, providing an enhanced experience to visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing. Memory loss tours are led by a docent and are for those with memory loss and their family member, friend or caregiver.

Access Tours include descriptive and ASL tours for the Route 66: Main Street Through St. Louis exhibit, and a memory loss tour for #1 in Civil Rights: The African American Freedom Struggle in St. Louis.

There are no more Route 66 tours planned, but the exhibit is still accessible. There are touchables throughout the exhibit, and QR codes by all audio that show a video in ASL.

A Descriptive Access Tours for #1 in Civil Rights: The African American Struggle in St. Louis will take place on Wednesday, June 28th, 6 p.m. for blind and low vision guests; and an American Sign Language Tour on Wednesday, August 23rd, 6 p.m. for visitors who are deaf.

“My favorite things about these tours have been finding out it is someone’s first time to the Missouri History Museum!” Nicole Smith, MHM Membership and Data Coordinator said. “When we started the tour I asked if it was anyone’s first time to the museum, and the 3 people on the tour who were blind/had low vision all raised their hands. That meant without these tours, these people might not have come to our museum, something we think is important for everyone.” Nicole is also a member of the MHM’s accessibility team and a member of SDI’s Young Friends executive committee.

Visit mohistory.org/accesstour or call (314) 361-9017 for the Museum’s 2017 Access Tour schedule to make reservations. Space is limited to these free tours and reservations are required.

The Missouri History Museum is committed to providing an inclusive environment by ensuring that its buildings, collections, exhibitions, programs and services are accessible to everyone. All exhibition videos and audio elements are captioned or transcribed for visitors.  Sign language interpretive services are available by request.

The Access Tours program helps expand the Museum’s mission to serve as an open and accessible meeting of historical and contemporary issues here in St. Louis!

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© 2015 Starkloff Disability Institute