Project Access for All is a national effort of Art Beyond Sight and its partner organizations. Together we are working to provide a vital forum for multiple voices across numerous disciplines, through the first broadly-scoped registry of accessible arts institutions; a resource center for accessibility and disability professionals to share research, ideas, and tools; and other initiatives intended to promote accessibility for people with disabilities on a national and global level.
Our goals with Project Access are
- To establish and maintain an effective, user-friendly, and comprehensive structure that better connects visitors with disabilities to a variety of inclusive, accessible, multisensory programs at cultural institutions around the country;
- To inspire theaters, sports arenas, museums, zoos, botanical gardens, and other cultural and recreational venues to more fully welcome visitors of all abilities and ages by creating new programs, using best practices in disseminating information, and exploring solutions involving new technology; and
- To provide a searchable, reliable, and constantly evolving source of information, tools, research, presentations, training, ideas, strategies, and connections by and for professionals working toward the ideal of everyone, everywhere.
The Role of Art Beyond Sight in the Open-Source, Community-Based Resource
Having set the ball in motion, the fate and direction of Project Access is now for the broader community to determine. Art Beyond Sight will provide administrative and technical support for the website. We will periodically solicit membership and submissions from our colleagues and community connections; we hope that all who are invested in accessibility will do the same, and thereby transform Project Access for All.
Our intent was to create a forum for the strong, vibrant conversations that we have been privileged to hear among our colleagues in New York and other cities, and share them with a larger community. We hope to discover other dynamic dialogues in communities around the country and among our colleagues abroad. We ask that you inspire others by letting them in on your conversations, asking questions, and giving advice and feedback.
Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, at the time of announcing Facebook's IPO, outlined in an open letter to potential investors, some compelling ideas that we hope Project Access can achieve on some scale. Given the nature of Zuckerberg's contribution to openness and transparency in 21st century communication, we don't think he would mind us borrowing and quoting here:
As Zuckerberg envisions with Facebook, it is our hope that Project Access website similarly will:
- "Help people connect with the people they want and share what they want, and by doing so extend people's capacity to build and maintain relationships."
- "By helping people form these connections, we hope to rewire the way people spread and consume information. We think the world's information infrastructure should resemble the social graph—a network built from the bottom up or peer-to-peer, rather than the monolithic, top-down structure that has existed to date. We also believe that giving people control over what they share is a fundamental principle of this rewiring."
- "As people share more, they have access to more opinions from the people they trust about the products and services they use. This makes it easier to discover the best products and improve the quality and efficiency of their lives."
- "We believe building tools to help people share can bring a more honest and transparent dialogue ... that could lead to more direct empowerment of people, more accountability ... and better solutions to some of the biggest problems of our time."
Who Controls the Content
Most of the Project Access website comprises completely dynamic, open-source content, and in fact relies on all participating institutions being willing to share their valuable experience and resources with the accessibility community as a whole.
There is one area where the founding partners are creating more static content: the Resource Center. While 90 percent is open content with voluntary submission, we solicited from our partners contributions to sections with best practices and white papers. We began with resources that Art Beyond Sight has developed in collaboration with others in the field for close to 30 years, including our Handbook for Museums and Educators and our Disability Awareness Training materials that are also available on our website.
Art Beyond Sight resources are copyrighted by us, but can be duplicated and used for educational purposes. Please be respectful of the copyrighted materials submitted by other agencies. This is a non-ad site; while there will be private, foundation and corporate donations solicited, there will not be ad sales associated with the site.