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Universal Design

Digital rendering of th Molina family Gallery exhibition with some visitors looking at the artifacts inside the gallery cases.
Small Exhibition Case
Courtesy of Smithsonian Latino Center

Our goal has been to design a gallery that is welcoming to all. By working closely with The Institute for Human Centered Design, Accessible Community, and Access Smithsonian, the Molina Family Latino Gallery follows universal design principles. Universal design, creating experiences for all visitors, including those who are blind or have low vision, have limited hand and arm mobility, or are older adults, means that the gallery experience is accessible for everyone.     

We carefully crafted the spatial layout and gallery circulation, including the design of physical and digital exhibit components, content hierarchy, and visual identity, to create a rich and diverse visitor experience.   

Join us! Everyone is welcome to learn how Latino history is American history. 

Access for All

Listen to Nefertiti Matos, access technology educator, and cultural accessibility consultant, discuss the importance of equitable access.

Nefertiti Matos. Foro Storytellers, 2021. NMAL
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Gallery Features

From the start, accessibility inclusion was a central part of design and content decisions for the Molina Family Latino Gallery. Accessibility features, provided in English and Spanish, are integrated throughout the gallery’s physical and digital experiences. 

Digital rendering of a gallery exhibition. Two museum visitors are taking a look at the artifacts.
A visitor uses a smartphone to access accessible content through a QR code.
Courtesy of Smithsonian Latino Center

Accessibility Features


  • A clear and accessible circulation path throughout the gallery  
  • Accessible furniture, viewing heights, and reach ranges 
  • Cane-detectable edges and protrusions 
  • Labels and objects designed for ease of reading  
  • Universal access points, indicated by tactile markers on the floor, to identify where visitors can access QR codes that will provide visual descriptions for the gallery and objects on display, label text in audio format, and supplemental information on the exhibition 
  • Quiet hours reduce visual and auditory stimuli so visitors can immerse themselves in the gallery content in a comfortable and engaging environment 
  • Museum staff available to assist in the gallery 
  • Accessible pre-visit materials available online 
  • Tactile and multisensory experiences to enhance learning for all audiences 


  • Open captions for all media and digital interactive experiences 
  • Three core inclusive digital interactives accessible with tactile keypads, inclusive graphics, and UI for ease of use by an audience with varying abilities and ages 
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