Creating More Inclusive Zoos and Museums
Not long last week after featuring a 35-year-old man named "Tony" (a pseudonym), who became legally blind at birth due to retinopathy of prematurity (ROP), I realized I had enough really good information for a second column about him. This "really good information" had to do with Tony's suggestions about making zoos and museums more enjoyable for blind people.
If you remember, the National Institutes of Health defines ROP as a "potentially blinding eye disorder primarily affecting premature infants weighing about 2.75 pounds or less and born before 31 weeks of gestation." Tony, born prematurely, had a severe case that eventually caused nearly complete blindness.
He said, "When I was a child, and when I still had some sight left, two of my favorite places to visit were the Great Plains Zoo and the Delbridge Natural History Museum in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. My vision was still usable then to the point where if an exhibit or an animal were close enough, I could still see them and get some enjoyment out of it." Then as a teen, his vision worsened.
Most zoos and museums today are "very visual," he said, and so he, along with most blind people, just don't get much enjoyment out of the experience, "My recommendation would be for zoos and museums to construct 3-D models of whatever is being exhibited, whether art, artifacts or animals, and put them within touching range of a blind person, so they can feel what's on display. That would be easy (and inexpensive) to do using 3-D printing technology. The second thing I would recommend would be for them to have exhibit information also available on audio format. I could wear a headset to hear the information rather than needing someone to read it to me. It would be neat to have the sounds animals make on audio, too." Tony said zoos and museums presenting information in Braille for blind people mean well, but realistically most blind people can't read Braille fast enough to keep up with the group they are in.
He added, "In the case of an art museum, having a relief picture of various paintings would be helpful for me. They could be just like the Braille football cards I have. On them you can feel the emblem on the football player's helmet, for instance, and the outline of the player's body in the photo."
Sponsored by Blue Valley Sod.
Daniel J. Vance is a licensed professional counselor and national certified counselor from Vernon Center, Minn. His weekly newspaper column Disabilities has been published in more than 260 newspapers.
Daniel J. Vance may be reached at www.danieljvance.com
Placer County News HeadlinesHoliday in the Hills on the Placer Wine Trail in DecemberRoseville, CA, - Come join us and help celebrate the holidays on the Placer Wine Trail to benefit Toys for Tots. Enjoy the holidays in Placer County
How the Grinch Stole Christmas Comes to Life at This EventSacramento, Calif. - Dr. Seuss' beloved holiday tale "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" will come to life at Fairytale Town's annual Winter Wonderland event.
California Bowl in Roseville November 24- 26Roseville, CA - Nov. 16, 2017 -One of the most competitive and exciting youth football tournaments on the west coast returns to Roseville over Thanksgiving weekend.
Kids with Disabilities to Get Help with Telemedicine Program (Sacramento, Calif.) - The UC Davis Department of Pediatrics has received a $2 million, five-year grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to fund a new telemedicine program
Gun Scare in Roseville at Woodcreek HighRoseville, CA, - Roseville Police find loaded handgun following alert from Woodcreek High Students.
Ford can 'Focus' on its futureRoseville, CA,- Not many people are probably aware, but the Ford Focus has been among the top-selling cars in the world, and even held the top spot in 2013.
$1.5 Million in Grants for Sacramento-area NonprofitsRoseville, CA,- Kaiser Permanente has awarded 52 grants totaling more than $1.5 million to local not-for-profit organizations, schools and public entities in Sacramento, Yolo and Placer counties.
Roseville Gas Prices Up 20 Percent Year from Last YearRoseville, CA,- Gas prices in Roseville ticked up slightly this past week. Following on the heels on California's $5 billion a year gas tax hike
Holiday Safety Tips by Roseville Police Dept.Roseville, CA,- The holiday season is a busy and festive time. While you're busy preparing, criminals are stepping up their efforts to increase their holiday haul.
Fishing Club Monthly Breakfast in AuburnThe Rooster Tails Fishing Club monthly breakfast will be held at the Auburn Elks Lodge at 195 Pine Street in Auburn on November 17
Placer County Regional Bikeway Plan UpdateAs Placer County experiences dramatic growth in population, new homes and businesses, the popularity of cycling grows at the same time
Orange is New Pink 5K Walk for Breast CancerOrange is the New Pink 5K Walk for Breast Cancer will take place Sunday, Dec. 3 at Mandarin Hill Orchards in Penryn