Accessibility in the Arts:

Sensory Hours at the David Owsley Museum of Art

This was an expansive project where I worked with the David Owsley Museum of Art at Ball State University to develop design solutions to create a more accessible space for every visitor. For this project, I specifically focused on visitors who may have sensory disabilities, such as those with Autism Spectrum Disorder or Sensory Processing Disorders.

I decided to focus on creating sensory hours that are incorporated into the museum’s current hours of operation. To advertise these hours to the public, I created digital and physical signage to be displayed on the museum’s various screens and at every entrance, advertising the times and dates that sensory hours are offered and providing more information for visitors who are unaware of what sensory hours entail.

During my research on sensory processing disorders, I learned that inverse text can often be easier to read, and bright colors can be over-stimulating. I first made a simple identity system using muted, calming colors and an inverse of white text on a black background. I then used this identity system throughout the rest of my designs.

I also designed an informational brochure that gives more details on why sensory hours are needed and what visitors can do to respect these hours. This brochure also includes a simplified map on the back that is less information-dense than the standard map. During my research, I found that maps are especially difficult to read and comprehend for those with sensory processing disorders, because they quickly become very complicated.

I used the same map from the back of the brochure as a wall graphic to be placed near elevators, stairs, and entrances. The aesthetic of this map fits well into the overall design of the museum, and it could be easily put up as a temporary way-finding system, specifically during the sensory hours. I designed this to be cut out of vinyl and stuck to the wall, but it could just as easily be printed onto a larger surface and hung on the wall.

 

I used the same map from the back of the brochure as a wall graphic to be placed near elevators, stairs, and entrances. The aesthetic of this map fits well into the overall design of the museum, and it could easily be put up as a temporary way-finding system specifically during the sensory hours. I specifically designed this to be cut out of vinyl and stuck to the wall, but it could just as easily be printed onto a larger surface and hung on the wall.