Innovative Practices 2014 on Accessibility

Inclusive art education at the MoMA, New York

MoMA has won international respect for their unique efforts to make their extensive resources, collection and programs accessible to visitors with disabilities. Training on inclusive arts education is given to external institutions worldwide and disability awareness and equality training is delivered in-house.

„We believe that engagement with art can enhance a person’s quality of life and that cultural institutions have a unique opportunity to facilitate that engagement.”

Carrie MCGEE
About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Access Programs
Organisation:The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA
of origin
United States of America
Beneficiaries targeted Persons with disabilities
Approach/ model/ solution:Specialized arts education program


  • Access Programs serve over 10.000 people each year
  • Access Programs implemented both at the Museum and off-site in the community
  • The MoMA Alzheimer’s Project has worked with over 100 museums worldwide to develop programs for individuals with dementia
  • over the past decade, Access Programs have received awards from: American Association of Museums, Center for Hearing and Communication, VSA Arts


Physical and attitudinal barriers can make accessing museums challenging for individuals with disabilities. Access Programs seek to remove such barriers and provide opportunities to participate in sophisticated, customized art education programs.


MoMA is committed to providing the most inclusive environment for the Museum’s diverse visitors. Access Programs offer a variety of programs for visitors with disabilities, including individuals with physical, developmental, or learning disabilities; hospitalized children and adults; homebound individuals; blind and partially sighted visitors; individuals with mental illness; and people with Alzheimer’s disease and their caregivers. Access Programs staff have developed training resources on providing quality art experiences for people with disabilities and delivered workshops on best practice throughout the world.


Access Programs staff are also beginning to develop new ways to use technology to reach new audiences and foster international exchange of best practice. Staff also regularly provide in-house disability awareness and equality training for frontline staff from various departments, including Visitor Services, Retail, Security, and Membership. At the urging of Access Programs, accessibility has become a Museum-wide priority and a cross-Museum Accessibility Task Force has been formed to ensure inclusivity across all programs and services.

MoMA:  Art inSightArt inSight is a program for individuals who are blind or partially sighted. Each month, specially trained MoMA educators highlight specific themes, artists, or exhibitions through verbal description or touch. (Foto by: Michael Nagle)

Ms. Carrie MCGEE & Ms. Francesca ROSENBERG
The Museum of Modern Art | New York
11 W. 53rd St., NY, 10019, USA +1-212-708-9864 |


Top marks from:
• all voters
Top marks for:
• Targeting all persons with disabilities

Nominated by: Ms. Meryl SCHWARTZ, The Museum of Modern Art