State of Museum Access Report

VocalEyes has published the State of Museum Access Report 2016, which shares the results of an audit they did of the websites of all 1600 accredited UK Museums. The report highlights that many museums website access information, for blind and partially sighted people, consists of a solitary message welcoming guide dogs. For every guide dogs owner in the UK, there are around 75 other registered blind or partially sighted people who do not use a guide dog, and for whom information about the resources and events at the museum would be welcome, and indeed a prerequisite for a visit: evidence shows that online access information is a key factor in the decision-making process for disabled visitors, and that many will not visit if access information is absent.

Some key figures from the report:

  • 27% of museums provide no access information on their website for disabled visitors planning a visit
  • Only 30% of museums provide information on their website that would be useful for a blind or partially-sighted person planning a visit
  • Only 18% of museums publicise labels or information for their exhibits in Large Print
  • Only 10% of museums publicise live audio-described tours / handling sessions for blind and partially sighted visitors
  • Only 5% are taking advantage of websites that provide detailed access audits such as DisabledGo.com and Euan’s Guide.

The Report breaks the data down for Scotland, Wales Northern Ireland and the English regions, as well as for categories of museum (independent, local authority, university, military, national museums, and heritage sites). 

The report and accompanying guidelines to help museums improve their access information, and ensure their web, digital marketing and social media is accessible, can be found at

vocaleyes.co.uk/state-of-museum-access-report-2016

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