Making museums accessible: learning from experience

Language: English
Time: 1:45pm-4:45pm

For the last 20 years, cultural institutions have been pushed to comply with accessibility rights legislation around the world. Some museums have a long experience in making their collections, buildings and programs accessible while some have not found yet their way to go beyond compliance or even to adjust to the law. How accessible is your museum? How does accessibility agenda develop? What factors support or constrain its development?

The purposes of the workshop are to share a conceptual framework on accessibility, to understand how museums around the world are dealing with this challenge and to discuss strategic guidelines to make museums more accessible.

The workshop is organized in three moments. At first, participants will build a collective understanding of accessibility and discuss the usefulness of concepts as “ableism”, “social exclusion”, “social model of disability” and “universal design” and their operation in museums. Then, we will share the findings of a qualitative case study about two museums organizational contexts and processes to launch and develop programs concerned with accessibility, as the starting point of a larger exchange between participants on their previous experiences, challenges and successful practices.

At last, the group will build a brief guideline of the accessibility experiences in their museums.


Facilitator: Luciana Sepúlveda Koptcke (Fundação Oswaldo Cruz, Fiocruz, Brasília, Brazil)

Luciana Sepúlveda Koptcke has a Bachelor’s in Art Education from Pontifícia Universidade Católica of Rio de Janeiro (1987), a Master’s in Museology (DEA) (1994) and Doctorate in Museology from Muséum National D’histoire Naturelle (1998). Luciana coordinates the “Education, Culture and Health Program” at Fiocruz in Brasília. She has experience in Museology, focusing on education and social studies, acting on the following subjects: visitors studies, school and museum partnership, non-formal and informal science and health education from cultural, educational  and sociological perspectives, cultural and social determinants of health, cultural diversity, creativity and health, youth participation in health promotion.