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Universal Design

Color rendering of iPresente! exhibition. Two museum visitors examine objects in a case.

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.  

Four people around a gallery digital interactive listening to an accessibly expert.
Audrey Maier, 2022, National Museum of the American Latino.
Ashley Grady (left) discusses accessibility testing with the History Console digital experience to members of the Digital Initiatives team: José Ralat Reyes, Melissa Carrillo, and Lola Ramírez.
Audrey Maier, 2022, National Museum of the American Latino.

Access for All

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

We use the video player Able Player to provide captions and audio descriptions. Able Player performs best using web browsers Google Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. If you are using Safari as your browser, use the play button to continue the video after each audio description. We apologize for the inconvenience.
Nefertiti Matos. Foro Storytellers, 2021. National Museum of the American Latino
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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. 

QR Codes

The gallery is equipped with 13 unique QR codes strategically placed in the space. They provide access to visual descriptions of key media elements, as well as the cases, including objects on display, label text in audio format, and supplemental information on the exhibition.

Physical Experiences

  • 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 

Tactile Keypads

NMAL partnered with the Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD) to improve touch screen interactives by including tactile keypads. Interactive kiosks play a significant role in museum exhibitions and are often inaccessible to many visitors who cannot independently use touchscreens for a number of reasons. We created a cutting-edge accessible interface by employing interactive user/expert testing and providing specific recommendations for keypad navigation.

Audrey Maier, 2022, National Museum of the American Latino.

Digital Experiences

  • 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 

Gallery Resources

QR Codes 

Below you can access all 13 of the gallery QR codes which provide visual descriptions of key media elements, cases, objects on display, label text, and supplemental information on the exhibition.

Assistive Listening Devices 

The Molina Family Latino Gallery offers assistive listening devices for presentations, programing, and the Somos theater. Visit the Learning Lounge to pick up an assistive listening device.  

 

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