Accessibility without limits
Accessibility in the Rijksmuseum for museum professionals
The Rijksmuseum belongs to, and is for, everyone: everyone is welcome! But does everyone feel welcome?
But how do you make that happen? How do you become accessible to people with disabilities?
We work hard to ensure that everyone actually has access to the collection (physical and online): blind people and people with low vision, deaf people and people who are hard of hearing, people in wheelchairs, people with dementia, people who are sensitivity to stimuli, and many others.
We want to be an inclusive museum. That is why we have formulated a vision with regard to accessibility: all visitors to the Rijksmuseum are equal. Visitors with disabilities are welcomed like any other visitor, can visit the Rijksmuseum independently and have access to the entire collection.
On this page we share our experiences during the journey we have begun on our way to an accessible museum. This page is intended as inspiration for everyone who works on accessibility in museums and other (cultural) institutions.
Publication Rijksmuseum. Accessibility without limits
In the book Rijksmuseum Accessibility without limits from 2022 we take you on the journey we have begun on our way to an accessible Rijksmuseum. A journey we are making with people with impairments and their interest groups and from which we are learning a lot. This is not a how-to guide in which we outline a process from start to finish. Because every organization is different and has its own challenges, opportunities and ambitions. We share how we tackled the process, what we ran into, what went well and what didn’t, and what we still need to do.
ACCESSIBILITY GUIDELINES FOR EXHIBITIONS
We developed guidelines for designing accessible exhibitions in collaboration with de Zonnebloem, Bartiméus, and Stichting Onbeperkt Genieten. This resource is made available to the designer before the exhibition design process begins. Although not all of the requirements outlined in the document will be adopted, it ensures that exhibition designers have a general understanding of the optimal accessibility requirements.
TIPS FOR WELCOMING VISITORS WITH AN IMPAIRMENT
Personnel who interact with the public every day, such as front office and security staff, are regularly given tips on welcoming visitors with disabilities. There are several approaches to this. The Accessibility Manager attends a monthly briefing before the museum opens, accompanied by someone with an impairment who discusses how how they prefer to be treated. Accessibility is one of the topics covered in the museum’s hospitality training. This document contains useful hints and ideas.
Since 2017, the Rijksmuseum has had an Accessibility Manager, who gathers and shares knowledge, and helps to ensure that, little by little, the museum is becoming truly accessible to all. If you have questions or remarks, please contact email@example.com
Raising awareness among own staff through a restrictions suit
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Stimulus-free evening openings
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Accessible family tours
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Meeting programmes for the elderly
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Tours in Dutch Sign Language in the app
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