Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Features

December 10, 2013

Please touch!

Pennsylvania museum allows touch tours for blind and visually impaired

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Angel Ayala has never been a big fan of museums. Blind since birth, the high school student says the exhibits are so sight-dependent that he can't enjoy them.

But he's making an exception for the Penn Museum, an archaeology and anthropology center that offers touch tours for the blind and visually impaired. Ayala can now feel the eroded limestone of an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus and the intricate hieroglyphs on the statue of a pharaoh.

"When I touch things, it's my version of a sighted person's eyes. It tells me way more than a person describing it would ever," Ayala said.

The institution, which is part of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, began offering the tours last year in an effort to make their extensive collections more accessible. Museums should serve the community at large, and that includes the unsighted as well as the sighted, said program coordinator Trish Maunder.

"Just because a person has low vision or can't see, doesn't mean that they're not completely interested in culture or learning about ancient artifacts," Maunder said.

Most major U.S. metro areas have at least one museum that offers some type of hands-on experience, from touching objects with bare hands or gloves to feeling replicas, according to Art Beyond Sight, a group that makes visual culture accessible to the blind and visually impaired.

Such accommodations began well before the Americans with Disabilities Act and have increased as museums "have transformed from institutions that house objects to institutions that work with audiences," said Nina Levent, executive director of the New York-based art organization.

Museums that don't offer tactile tours often have personal or audio guides for the blind. But Levent contends that developing touch components can benefit a wide range of visitors, including children's groups and students with learning disabilities.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Features
  • Food 10 Things Zucchini [Duplicate] 10 Things: 10 ideas for eating all that zucchini Zucchini bread is fine and all, but when you're staring down a mountain of summer abundance, how much of it can you really eat? Convinced we could find more — and more creative — ways to use up a bounty of zucchini, we decided to explore out-of-the-b

    July 22, 2014 4 Photos

  • North Korea Feeding the Nation-6 [Duplicate] N. Korean farmers under intense pressure to feed hungry nation Rim Ok Hua looks out over her patch of farm just across the Tumen River from China, where rows of lush, green young potato plants stretch into the distance. As North Korean farmers go, Rim is exceptionally lucky. The Changpyong Cooperative Farm where

    July 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Amish Cook continues summer recipe series Amish Cook continues its summer recipe series. It will be back in its regular format next week. A reader in Mt. Sterling, Ohio asked about tomato fritters: MENNONITE TOMATO FRITTERS 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 tsp. sugar 1/4 tsp. dried basil OR 2 tbsp.

    July 21, 2014

  • Schaaf 02 Half a Century and Happy: The Schaafs It was normal for the students at Jackson Township School in the 1940s to marry their classmates. They all grew up together, and with class sizes that rarely exceeded twenty, they paired off pretty easily since they typically dated among themselves a

    July 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • Hamptons Have Nots 1 The Hamptons have nots SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. (AP) — This is a town where people are so rich that a $2 million home can be a handyman's special. A town where the thrift shop is stocked with donations of designer dresses and handbags. But Southampton, with its privet hedges, pri

    July 19, 2014 4 Photos

  • Right at Home: cooking up a color-happy kitchen Kitchens in traditional and vintage homes often are dressed in conservative garb: neutral hues, stainless steel, white-on-white or beige-on-beige.Historically, however, kitchens were actually pretty peppy, according to Deborah Baldwin, editor of This

    July 17, 2014

  • Traveling with Teens-3 [Duplicate] Traveling with teens NEW YORK (AP) — Family travel falls into three distinct phases. First, there's the exhausting period of travel with crying babies who need diapers, bottles, strollers, car seats and naps. Then come the golden years, when kids can handle long rides an

    July 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Learning English-24 [Duplicate] Learning English SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — During a friendly dugout chat before a game, Hector Sanchez joked about the hazards of catching for hard-throwing San Francisco starter Tim Lincecum because of the number of balls that must be stopped in the dirt. "Another day at

    July 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lay's-New Flavor [Duplicate] Lay's newest flavor: Cappuccino? NEW YORK (AP) — American palates have changed considerably over the years, but is the country ready for cappuccino-flavored Lay's? Frito-Lay, the snack division of PepsiCo Inc., will announce on Wednesday the coffee-flavored chips as one of the four

    July 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Food Healthy Breakfast Muffins-3 [Duplicate] Rethinking a healthy breakfast: a meal in a muffin When fall rolls around and it's back to school and work, wouldn't you love to start your day with something tastier and more substantial than that all-too-typical bowl of cold cereal? It's just so boring day after day. And that's apart from the fact

    July 15, 2014 7 Photos

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller