Our Program Manager Angela Wang is always busy at her desk, but also very involved on location when she is adapting art experiences for the disability community. Below is an account of her approach as she verbally describes a tour for Eastern State Penitentiary’s guests that are blind.
“This was more of an adaptive tour, adjusted from the typical guided tour to give the 2 blind patrons the same experience they would sighted patrons.
The tour was conducted by an Eastern State tour guide, and the content focused primarily on the historical narrative of the Penitentiary. My role was to substitute any part of the tour where the tour guide would typically ask for visual observations, and turn them into verbal description of the site. We also distributed cloth gloves so that the 2 visitors can experience different features of the cell, which I believe is the most effective way for patrons with low vision to aide their visit, along with the historical narrative.
There is a part of the tour where visitors typically gather in the middle, called the central surveillance hub. This is where, in the past, the prison guard would stand and survey the inmates down each cell block. Since this part of the tour would be inaccessible to our visitors on this tour, I made the raised radial map so they can experience the ingenious design with their fingers!”
-Angela Wang, Program Manager at Art-Reach