People with disabilities visit art museums: An exploratory study of obstacles and difficulties

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Abstract

Visits to art museums are a major component of culture and heritage tourism. This study focuses on the obstacles that Israelis with disabilities–30 people who use wheelchairs or crutches and 15 visually impaired people–face while visiting art museums. The in-depth interviews revealed that people with disabilities are not able to experience the museum as they wish, despite museum efforts toward becoming accessible to all. Participants emphasize the non-physical elements of the museum environment (e.g. staff attitudes and interaction with other visitors), as being major difficulties in achieving a full museum experience. The study shows that visitors often turn the barriers they confront into a difficulty, nevertheless the struggle itself has a negative effect on the visit experience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-129
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Heritage Tourism
Volume4
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2009

Keywords

  • Art museums
  • People with disabilities

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