March 22-25, 2006
Albuquerque, New Mexico

Sessions: Abstract

Universal Design Of Computer Interactives For Museum Exhibitions

Christine Reich, Museum of Science, Boston, USA

This paper presents results of a qualitative research study examining how 16 users of a broad range of abilities and disabilities use computer interactives in museum exhibitions that were created using universal design. The users chosen for the study include persons who are blind or have low vision, persons who are deaf or hard of hearing, persons with learning disabilities or other cognitive impairments, and persons with limited mobility. The interactives included in this study each use buttons as the primary user interface, and together, represent the variety of learning experiences that computers can provide in museum exhibitions. Study findings yield insights on how individuals with disabilities interact with computer interactives and the types of design features that are needed to provide access for an audience that includes visitors of a broad range of abilities and disabilities. In addition, findings demonstrate that certain design features support learning for a broad range of users and that features implemented to provide access for one audience can lead to improved experiences for another.

Session: Design Choices [Design]

Keywords: universal design, accessibility, interactives, disability, usability