Welcome Wednesday 21 Aug 2013: Innovative Technology for Universal Access

Join us on Wednesday August 21st for a special session on leading edge uses of technology to make the museum more accessible and engaging for everyone. Experts Sina Bahram, Marc Check, and Eleanor Lisney – in town for the LEAD Conference – will share their insights and expertise on human computer interfaces for people who are blind or have low vision; on an innovative approach to providing interior positioning and wayfinding via LED lighting; and how museums can become more accessible by learning from digital artists’ innovative uses of technology.

This meeting will be held from 10am-12pm in NASM’s Briefing Room and also online via Google Hangout with live streaming to the Smithsonian Mobile channel on YouTube. All are welcome but non-Smithsonian staff should RSVP to simobile@si.edu so we can put your name on the guest list as the Briefing Room is not in an area of the museum accessible to the public.

About the speakers:

Sina Bahram is an accessibility researcher and consultant pursuing his PhD in the Department of Computer Science at North Carolina State University. His field of research is Human Computer Interaction (HCI) with a focus on the use of advanced techniques and multi-modal approaches to facilitate eyes-free exploration of highly graphical information. Combining artificial intelligence, intelligent user interfaces (IUI), and HCI, Sina devises innovative and user-centered solutions to difficult real-world problems. In 2012, Sina was recognized as one of President Barack Obama’s Champions of Change for his work in enabling users with disabilities to succeed in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. You can read more about Sina and his interests on his website (http://www.SinaBahram.com) and his blog (http://blog.SinaBahram.com).

Here are Sina’s slides from his presentation to Welcome Wednesday: http://is.gd/xnizIB

Marc Check is the Director of Information and Interactive Technology at the Museum of Science in Boston where he directs professionals in both classic infrastructure and interactive technologies. He is passionate about museums and the use of technology in informal learning spaces, and Marc has been working on both the interpretive and curatorial ends of technology for a number of years. His past roles include Associate Director for the International Center for the History of Electronic Games (ICHEG), Director of Technology for the National Museum of Play, and Director of Technology for the Rochester Museum and Science Center. Marc holds a BS in Mathematics from the State University of Brockport in New York and a MS in Information Technology from the Rochester Institute of Technology, with a focus on Interactive Media. He will be discussing ByteLight software, which leverages LED lighting to provide the best-in-class indoor location solution that is accurate, fast, and works with any mobile device.

Eleanor Lisney is currently coordinating an event on accessible transport at Coventry Transport Museum, Moving On: Accessible Transport, the past, present and the future. She started her interest in working on museum conferences at Museums and the Web and working for ICHIM. However, she is first and foremost, a campaigner for disability equality and (intersectional) rights. She is a co founder of Disabled People Against Cuts and Sisters of Frida in the UK. She is passionate about access (including digital access) and inclusive design. Her recent work includes an online access course for the British Council. She will be a tremendous resource adding her perspective to the day’s discussion.

These are the links to innovative use of technology by artists for accessibility that Eleanor discussed in her presentation:




About Eleanore: http://www.connectculture.co.uk/show.php?contentid=32

And see her article in the July 2013 special issue on accessibility of Curator Journal: http://curatorjournal.org

One thought on “Welcome Wednesday 21 Aug 2013: Innovative Technology for Universal Access

  1. Pingback: Washington DC: tech@lead museum accessibility and access in the city! | connect culture

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