EDI: Collections, Programming and Engagement

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This page aims to provide links to resources to help organisations develop inclusive approaches across collections, programming and engagement.

Please note this is not an exhaustive list and the content of this web page is regularly reviewed so please check back for updates.

Useful websites

Disability Collaborative Network (DCN) are a group of committed museum professionals working with national charities, organisations, people with disabilities, academics, groups, disability networks in other sectors, curators and managers to promote and embed inclusive practice in the heritage and cultural sector. Visit the DCN website for information and tools in relation to the workplace and visitor experience

Visit their blog Digital Inclusion: Content which provides an overview of considerations when creating digital content. Read the blog.

SEND in Museums provides clear guidance for museum, heritage or other arts and cultural professionals, on supporting the inclusion of children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Whether you are new to this audience, an experienced learning officer, or a museum director looking for evidence to support investment in SEND inclusion, the SEND in Museums website is a comprehensive resource.

Stagetext is a Sector Support Organisation (SSO) making theatre and culture accessible to deaf, deafened and hard of hearing people.  On their website you will find a range of resources on how to subtitle your online content and other digital resources.  Find out more  about Stagetext and how this can benefit your organisation.

Curating for Change exists to create strong career pathways for d/Deaf, disabled and neurodiverse curators, currently seriously under-represented in museums. Its Trainees and Fellows will produce exhibitions, events and blogs, exploring disabled people’s histories – while gaining skills for careers in the sector.

Podcasts and Webinars

The weekly Wonder House podcast is hosted by Dr Sushma Jansari.  It’s a podcast series that shares some of the most innovative contemporary approaches to decolonising museums so that we are all empowered and inspired to learn and experiment.  Recent contributors include Dan Vo, founder of the award-winning LGBTQ+ volunteer-led tours at the V&A, Thanh Sinden, Chair of the  Museum Detox Executive Committee and Sara Wajid, Head of Engagement at the Museum of London. View the full series at Podcasts – The Wonder House

Accessibility in a post Covid world? Creating accessible environments especially in historic buildings can be a challenge at the best of times. How can museums factor in Covid-19 considerations when considering accessibility?  The session, delivered by Direct Access, can be viewed here.

EMBED’s podcasts on YouTube include Innovation for Accessibility with Gavin Neate from Neatebox and Inclusive Social Media in Heritage and How to Get Started.


The Heritage Access 2022 report from VocalEyes, in partnership with Stagetext, Autism in Museums and the Centre for Accessible Environments, highlights the importance of online access information for the UK museum and heritage sector, and tracks the changes in the state of access over the past four years. Find out more about the Heritage Access 2022 report.

Empire, Slavery & Scotland’s Museums
This project, sponsored by the Scottish Government, presents recommendations from the Empire, Slavery & Scotland’s Museums independent Steering Group for how Scotland’s involvement in empire, colonialism, and historic slavery can be addressed using museum collections and museum spaces.

This nationwide project builds on existing work from within the equalities sector and from across Scotland’s museums, to explore the mechanisms of how Scotland can confront challenging histories within museum spaces. Find out more about the Empire, Slavery & Scotland’s Museums project.

National Trust Report
Read the National Trust report on addressing the histories of colonialism and historic slavery here.

The Museums Association’s Empowering Collections report has a series of recommendations and case studies which may be useful.

Museum and Heritage Access 2020 Survey
VocalEyes has announced the publication of the Museum and Heritage Access 2020 Survey report. Read it here.

Museum Accessibility for Autistic Adults in the ‘new normal’. Read this MA dissertation which includes recommendations supporting the sector’s appropriate engagement with adult autistic audiences.

​‘Alt-text as Poetry’ is a collaborative project between artists Bojana Coklyat and Shannon Finnegan, supported by Eyebeam and the Disability Visibility Project. Find out more here.

Culture 24 has published a report, Rap Under The Rubens: How after-hours events can help break down barriers to museum participation. With a particular focus on age, ethnicity and class, the report combines insights from the latest sector research and reports, with demographic and visitation data, to paint a picture of how ‘Lates’ reach underrepresented audiences – and how they might be even more successful in the future.

Resources, Toolkits and Training

Museums Association has published Communicating Decolonisation Guidance to help you and your organisation talk about your work. This guidance is meant to be a starting point for building a robust communication strategy to support your work. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach because across the museum sector there is a diversity of capacity, size, and tactics.

As part of the Empire, Slavery & Scotland’s Museums project resources have been developed including Anti-Racist Practice In Collection Management, Restitution And Repatriation Resources and Museum Anti-Racist Practice

Group for Education in Museums (GEM) has practical resources designed for use by museum and heritage education practitioners working with a wide range of audiences.  Click here to view them.

Specific GEM resource:

  • Decolonizing the curriculum, the museum and the mind.  Access here

Creative Bridges has inspiring ways to make a step change in your confidence in working with visitors with autism, learning difficulties and learning disabilities.  To discover more about this free online course Make your Museum More Accessible on a Shoestring Budget.

The American Alliance of Museums has published an article on website accessibility ‘10 Best Practices of Accessibility‘.

History of Place, Accessible Exhibitions for All: A guide to co-designing exhibitions with disabled people HOP_TK_Design_Exhibs_Final_PRINT.pdf (historyof.place)

The ‘EMBED Reopening Recommendation’ guidance, created in collaboration with the Disability Collaborative Network (DCN) and the School of Health Sciences University of East Anglia, has been created to support organisations in their decision making prior to reopening following COVID-19 lockdown.  It considers potential barriers faced by disabled visitors and customers and offers solution based guidance for organisations of all types with the ultimate aim of keeping stakeholders, staff, volunteers visitors, students or customers as safe as possible.

Arts Council England, ‘Building Access: A good practice guide for arts and cultural organisations’ Building Access | Arts Council England

Vocal Eyes, A range of resources to support accessibility for blind and partially sighted people Resources – VocalEyes

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