Program

The session schedule is presented in Mountain Time (MT) and is subject to change.

  1. Tuesday
  2. Wednesday
  3. Thursday

Tuesday, October 8

Welcome Event

On the evening of the arrival day, October 8th, there will be a happy hour and welcome barbecue at the hotel. Happy hour will begin at 6:30 PM and the barbecue will begin at 7:00 PM. Convening attendees are welcome to join as you arrive and settle in.

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Wednesday, October 9

Breakfast

Opening Comments

Join Sina Bahram and Corey Timpson, Principles of Prime Access Consulting, as they dive into a dynamic dialogue highlighting the importance of accessibility and belonging in design. Their welcoming remarks will set the tone for collaboration, innovation, and connection among attendees passionate about creating spaces and experiences that embrace all individuals. Let’s come together to inspire and be challenged, forging a future where inclusivity is at the heart of design.

Recognition Session One

Melanie Fales, Director of the Boise Art Museum, will present the successes and opportunities realized from over four years of inclusive design and accessibility work across the enterprise of the museum. Leveraging the resources provided by two separate IMLS grants, the Boise Art Museum has enhanced the inclusivity of a myriad aspects of exhibition and gallery design, established and engaged community groups to help inform its practices, developed ASL exhibition labels and interpretive panels, and created 3D touch objects and tactile reliefs with accompanying visual, guided tactile, and audio descriptions. Outside the walls of BAM, Melanie oversees the offering of various tactical accessibility affordances for the 250,000 attendee Art-in-the-Park event for two years and counting. Melanie will outline the various opportunities, intentions, outcomes, and impacts of the work being done across all of BAM.

Recognition Session Two

Armando Perla, Head Curator of the Textile Museum of Canada, academic, consultant, and activist, will elaborate his industry-leading approach to building trust and engaging with communities that have historically found museums and cultural venues to be exclusionary, unwelcoming, and violent spaces. His unapologetic and tireless work in provoking reflection, dialogue, and progress is fundamental to imagining truly pluralized, respectful, and representative cultural institutions. Armando’s work in this area was the foundation for enabling the Transforming Grief: Loss and Togetherness in Covid-19 exhibition to be developed, and for historically excluded communities to take-over a colonial fort and have their stories presented through their own contemporary artistic outputs, in an inclusively accessible manner.

Lunch and Break

Lunch will be provided from 12:05 to 1:00 PM.

From 1:00 to 2:00 PM, Mentors and Emerging Professionals are invited to come together as a collective to meet, greet, and converse.

Discussion Session One

In a round table-style discussion session, Emerging Professional and Mentors will facilitate a free-flowing conversation about inclusive design topics and questions related to their work.

Recognition Session Three

Colleen Prior (She/Her), Manager of Content and Audiences at National Geographic Society, will discuss the intentions, opportunities, and approaches being developed for a mixed public experience consisting of heavily themed areas, immersive media moments, and traditional museum spaces. She will also discuss the comprehensive approach to inclusive design that’s necessitated when working across many design teams, internal staff, and stakeholders within a large, publicly visible corporation.

Coffee and Snacks

Recognition Session Four

Vanessa Sanchez (She/Her), Director of Education and Yollocali Arts Reach and Angela Rogers (She/Her), Education and Engagement Specialist at the National Museum of Mexican Art, will present on developing a more sensory friendly museum. Through collaborative efforts with community input, NMMA has developed and implemented a set of diverse tactics across the ecosystem including pre-visit materials, maps, quiet spaces, and kits as well as specific sensory friendly programming, Mañanas en el Museo.

Evening at the Boise Art Museum

We are excited to be working with Boise Art Museum to host an event on the evening of the first session day, October 9th! This indoor-outdoor event will be at 6:00 PM and have cocktails, heavy appetizers, and some light entertainment.

PAC will help coordinate transportation between the hotel and the museum. More details will be shared prior to the Convening.

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Thursday, October 10

Breakfast

Recognition Session Five

Chris Xu (She/They), a Product Manager focused on accessibility at Slack, will discuss organizational change strategies for cultivating and growing a sustainable accessibility practice within a fast-moving tech company. Despite the apparent motivations of heightened product demand, market expansion, and enhanced usability for all, achieving comprehensive inclusive access mandates substantial organizational transformation within a vast and complex enterprise. Xu will share insights into their journey of fostering relevance, traction, and effecting significant change.

Recognition Session Six

The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) and Prime Access Consulting (PAC) are currently building a Museum of the Blind People’s Movement. From conceptual to tactical, we’ll talk about how a museum built and led by the blind began with building trust and radically re-imagining the very essence of what a museum can be. Learn how applying an inclusive design methodology, that centers disabled experiences, from the beginning of a project can serve as a model for more inclusive museological practices.

Capacity Building: Tactile Graphics

Join Maria Braswell (She/Her), Inclusive Design Specialist, and Rob Itri-Vincent (He/Him), Director of Design, of Prime Access Consulting, for a session exploring the interpretive design process of creating meaningful tactile graphics. Participants will engage in a hands-on exploration of tactile graphics that accentuate design techniques, and the application of tactile textures, patterns, and forms, that serve to surface the intricacies and nuances of designing for touch. Merging audio, visual, and tactile elements, this session will emphasize the principles of inclusive, multimodal design.

Lunch and Break

Lunch will be provided from 12:05 to 1:00 PM.

From 1:00 to 2:00 PM, Emerging Professionals are invited to gather together as a collective to meet, greet, and reflect.

Discussion Session Two

In a round table-style discussion session, Emerging Professional and Mentors will facilitate a free-flowing conversation about inclusive design topics and questions related to their work.

Recognition Session Seven

Jane Alexander (She/Her), Chief Digital Information Officer of the Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA), will discuss utilizing the Microsoft HoloLens2 to immerse visitors in the narrative of a scholarly exhibition, Revealing Krishna. CMA’s approach aimed for visitors to seamlessly engage with the story and to forget about the technology. This project preliminarily explored how disabled visitors can participate equitably in such an innovative approach. The challenges that were addressed included displaying captions in augmented reality (AR), integration with the built environment, wayfinding, and creating inclusive media. Many open challenges remain, such as, how can blind visitors enjoy and participate in this experience, how can access technologies such as screen reading or enlargement/zoom be integrated, how could American Sign Language (ASL) be used in this approach, and what operational considerations are needed to create a more inclusive experience. A deeply exciting area of future exploration is how this unique approach can offer something to disabled audiences that isn’t possible in traditional exhibitions.

Coffee and Snacks

Recognition Session Eight

Dr. Rosanna Flouty (She/Her), the Director of New York University’s Museum Studies program, will share insights and opportunities in teaching and learning that identify how emergent practitioners new to the field are being equipped to decolonize, democratize, and pluralize museum practices and the diverse audiences they serve. This session will also identify their failures, and how museums are implicated in resisting change.

Closing Reception

On the final evening of the Convening, October 10th, there will be a closing reception. Happy hour will begin at 6:00 PM and the dinner will begin at 7:00 PM.

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