Museum Workshop Focuses on the Disabled

People who are developmentally or physically disabled may not enjoy traditional museum exhibits. Wake Forest University’s Museum of Anthropology will present a workshop for community leaders and educators on how to use museum objects to improve the museum experience for those with a variety of disabilities.

“Touring the Tactile Gallery” will be held Friday, Jan. 17, from 6- 8 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 18, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the museum. Donna McElroy, who directs a nationally-known program designed to use museum objects in working with the disabled, will lead the workshop. McElroy is the curator of education at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.

“This workshop was conceived to train community leaders and educators who work with the disabled to make museum visits accessible and enjoyable,” said Mary Jane Berman, the director of the Museum of Anthropology.

The opening session on Friday evening will include a presentation on the concepts of using objects in teaching the disabled and also will explore the use of tactile exhibits.

The second session on Saturday will be divided into four sections: arts, music, food and crafts. Objects from the museum’s collections will be used as examples. In the hands-on workshop, participants will develop skills for using objects and museum exhibits in teaching those with developmental, emotional or physical disabilities. Issues related to working with the visually and hearing impaired will be addressed.

Registration is $15 for community members; $10 for members of the Museum Friends organization. Lunch is included on Saturday. The workshop, which is funded by a grant from The Winston-Salem Foundation, is a part of Wake Forest’s Year of the Arts, a yearlong celebration including special exhibits, lectures, performances and other events.

For information or to register for the workshop, call the museum at 759-5282.

Categories: Arts & Culture, Community, Media Advisory