Smithsonian Museums Washington, DC
The Smithsonian Museums do not offer induction loops (See www.hearingloop.org
) for their videos while museums like the Holocaust Museum and many museums in NYC and around the world. The Smithsonian Museum contributed to the Department of Interior/National Park Service Guidelines for Effective Access Service; see http://www.nps.gov/hfc/accessibility/index.htm
(first document) and also note the following comments at http://www.nps.gov/hfc/products/av-accessibility.htm
People with residual hearing want to hear the videos and not just read the captions. When I was last at the Museum, not all the videos even had captions. Also, some individuals may not be able to read, or may not be able to read at the level necessary to fully comprehend captions, such as young children. Both the Architectural Barriers Act and Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act require the use and compliance with assistive listening technology and devices.
These Guidelines should be used to implement effective access for people who are deaf or hard of hearing at the Smithsonian. My daughter who has a hearing loss others like her should be able to visit the museum without having to announce their intention in advance. Our nation's museum should be a model of access like the museums in NYC that offer this access.