Seasonal Training- Accessibility

Today I joined my site supervisor for the seasonal training of the staff at Salem and Saugus. Here is the rundown of what we covered-

General Principles

  • Awareness: Be aware of the diverse needs of visitors, including those with physical, sensory, and cognitive disabilities.
  • Communication: Use clear, simple language and be prepared to offer information in multiple formats.

Physical Accessibility

  • Pathways: Ensure that all pathways are clear, well-maintained, and wide enough for wheelchair access.
  • Entrances: Make sure all entrances are accessible, with ramps or lifts available where necessary.
  • Signage: Use large, high-contrast text on signs and ensure they are placed at accessible heights. 

Visual Impairments

  • Guided Tours: Offer guided tours specifically tailored for visually impaired visitors, including detailed verbal descriptions.
  • Braille and Large Print Materials: Provide brochures, maps, and other materials in braille and large print.
  • Lighting: Ensure adequate lighting in all areas, especially in exhibits and restrooms.

Hearing Impairments

  • Assistive Listening Devices: Have assistive listening devices available for guided tours and presentations.
  • Sign Language Interpretation: Offer sign language interpretation for key tours and events upon request.
  • Written Information: Provide transcripts of audio tours and written summaries of presentations.

Cognitive Disabilities

  • Clear Signage: Use simple, clear, and pictorial signage to aid navigation.
  • Quiet Spaces: Designate quiet areas for visitors who may need a break from sensory overload.
  • Interactive Exhibits: Include interactive elements that cater to different learning styles and cognitive abilities.

Visitor Interaction

  • Respect and Patience: Treat all visitors with respect and patience, and be willing to accommodate their needs.
  • Ask and Listen: When in doubt, ask visitors how you can assist them and listen to their preferences and needs.

Hopefully this info is able to help if you are planning an event at a national park near you!

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