People Resources

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Featured Resources

  • What the Public Thinks is a major initiative organized through the Museum Association in the UK to guide cultural heritage development into the 2020s.  In addition to video and discussion, the link contains a pdf report available for download at no cost.
  • Skills for Change is a microvolunteer online platform where nonprofits receive free input from experts on everything from logos, document translation, program development, website critique – virtually any type of consult that can be accomplished online.
  • Washington D.C. Office of Disability Rights  and City Access New York are examples of regional organizations that provide resources and programming on inclusivity needs.  The Museum Access Consortium is a program based in New York that focuses on the special needs of all cultural heritage visitors.

Volunteers & Community Engagement

  • The Museum of Liverpool’s Get Involved website page encourages volunteerism, oral history projects, and other forms of active engagement with area residents.
  • The American Association of Museum Volunteers (AAMV) is affiliated with the American Alliance of Museums in the United States and internationally with the World Federation of Friends of Museums.  The AAMV website contains some general resources on volunteering specific to museums.  Webinar resources link to AAM offerings that are fee-based except for a AAM members.
  • The U.S. Federation of Friends of Museums mission ” . . . is to encourage volunteer efforts for museums and to facilitate an exchange of information among Friends organizations, both nationally and internationally.”  The organization publishes a newsletter and offers grant opportunities.  The focus of the group is more on formal friends groups and less on individual museum supporters.
  • The session Big Impact for Small Museums: Internships as a Win-Win-Win for all Participants was held at the 2014 AASLH Annual Conference and discussed opportunities and the legal caveats for student internships.  The proceedings are available as a downloadable audio file.
  • From the Corporation for National and Community Service are demographic data on volunteerism across the United States.  The site contains a” . . . comprehensive look at volunteering and civic life in the 50 states and 51 cities across the country. Data includes volunteer rates and rankings, civic engagement trends, and analysis.”

Special Needs Inclusion Resources

  • The U.S. Census reports demographic data specific to individuals with special physical or cognitive needs.
  • Audio of the session Welcoming All Visitors: Accessible Programs at History Museums and Sites, from the AASLH 2014 Annual Meeting.  The downloadable audio file features four museum practitioners presenting case studies in accessibility.
  • The Disabilities Studies Reader by Lennard J. Davis  “. . . breaks new ground by emphasizing the global, transgender, homonational, and posthuman conceptions of disability. Including physical disabilities, but exploring issues around pain, mental disability, and invisible disabilities, this edition explores more varieties of bodily and mental experience.”
  • Center for the Disease Control and Prevention’s comprehensive Disability Overview defines terminology and scope necessary for developing an inclusion policy. The Center’s People First Language Description Sheet is a guide for the correct and incorrect forms of addressing visitors with special needs.
  • The Office of Disability Rights’ Disability Sensitivity Training Video and Scope Company’s #EndTheAWkward Campaign Videos provide instructive and engaging training videos on steps to assure the inclusivity of special needs individuals.
  • Best Buddies  is a  world-wide advocacy and support network “dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”  With chapters in all 50 U.S. states, Best Buddies is an excellent resource to consult for museum inclusivity policy and program development.
  • Kids Included Together is a national nonprofit that addresses the special needs of children.  The website includes reports and white papers that museums will find useful to develop inclusive programming.

The Kitchen Sink

  • Robert Connolly’s blog, Archaeology Museums and Outreach contains numerous posts on service learning and applied student projects in Museums.  For example, see here, here, and here.
  • The Freeze Frame exhibition reported by Suzanne Francis-Brown in the volume Positioning Your Museum as a Critical Community Asset is further discussed in several blog posts including here, here, and here.  The exhibition is an excellent example of a museum engaging directly with a community in program development.
  • Robert P. Connolly and Natalye B. Tate, “Volunteers as Mission,” Collections. 7 (2011):325. This paper explores the different types of volunteer opportunities ranging from contributory to co-creative experiences.
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