Miniature models enhance the exhibit experience
for visitors with and without sight, as well as for children and adults.
- Three-dimensional scale models of prominent Washington buildings, such
as the White House, Capitol, Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument, can
be touched by all visitors, providing a sense of scale, as well as an intimate
feel of the many architectural details of these national treasures. This
tactile experience is essential for people with little or no sight and is
an added benefit for visitors, children and adults alike, whose primary
processing style may be kinesthetic.
Pedestals with recessed bases provide clear floor
space for a person in a wheelchair to comfortably execute a forward
- The models are mounted on pedestals with recessed bases that enable people
in wheelchairs to approach and get close. Clear space around the model allows
more than one person to examine the exhibit at the same time, as well as
allowing people who use mobility aids to approach from the angle that best
suits their unique needs.
- The height of the pedestals place the models within an optimal range to
be easily examined by seated people, children and adults of short stature,
as well as tall visitors.
- The angled edge of the pedestal top provides an ideal location for easy-to-read
text for both standing and seated visitors and also is a good location for
the Braille signage that accompanies each model.
Signage and Displays
Guide rail on which text and Braille labels are
mounted, floor strips to alert visitor of presence of tactile exhibit,
careful use of text, lighting, and height and placement of relief artifacts
contribute to an exhibit that appeals to all visitors. d
- Labels and text are written for various levels of interest and are placed
at multiple heights for seated visitors and children. Color scheme, typeface,
type size and level of contrast were carefully chosen to enhance signage.
- To-scale building components fabricated of the same materials as the original
and other relief artifacts, such as decorative bricks from a nineteenth-century
rowhouse allow visitors to feel the detail of physical structures.
The scale and features of the U.S. Mall are shown
on a tactile map. d
- A high contrast tactile map of the Mall displays the scale, location,
and shape of buildings, memorials, and water elements of this large outdoor
area. The map is wall-mounted, angled and at a height easy for both standing
and seated users to examine. The base is recessed to allow wheelchair users
to get close enough for careful scrutiny.
- An open-captioned video replays interviews with residents in Washington
and tells their stories of life in this ever-changing city.
The recessed base allows close approach by a visitor
who uses a wheelchair or scooter. d
This audio exhibit, activated by the button on the
lower right, is highlighted in the text panel. A transcript also is
available for visitors who are deaf or prefer to read rather than listen.
- Visitors can hear an 1872 debate between two groups of Congressmen and
hear a residential builder from the 1880s discuss how the city's building
regulations affected his business and the design of his residential buildings.
Transcripts, available for people who are deaf, are an added benefit for
non-native English speakers and people who are more comfortable processing
information in a style other than auditory.
Wayfinding and Lighting
Floor strips at the base of the pedestal alert visitors
to the model in front of them. d
- An audiotape description system is available throughout the exhibit. More
than one mode for delivering information aids all visitors including people
who are blind or visually impaired, as well as non-native English speakers
- A guide rail system and the use of tactile floor markings assists users
in locating particular exhibits. These features also enhance safety when
diverse groups visit the exhibit.
- Varied lighting provides highlighting and contrasts for people with low
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