Our first Touch Tour

Learning from the work already carried out at the Ashmolean Museum and their series of touch tours,  we will be developing a series of similar tours at the other three University Museums throughout this project.

twitterOur first new venture was with the Museum of Natural History.  This museum is already catering for blind and partially sighted visitors with a number of specifically designed touchable specimens and reconstructions out on open display.  As well as enhancing the visitor experience for blind and partially visitors, they are a huge hit with all the visitors to the museum.

The 28th January saw the museum welcome it’s first visitors on a bookable audio described touch tour of the museum. With the help of a member of staff and  3 volunteers, the visitors were given an audio described introduction to the museum, with the opportunity to feel some of the amazing architectural features of this beautiful building.  We then navigated our way to the touchable specimens, where volunteers and staff were able to describe in detail what was on display and provide more in-depth information.

After our tour, we took a well-earned rest underneath the T-Rex in the middle of the museum and got our hands on some of the fantastic objects in the museums’ handling collection.  The objects used were chosen to give our visitors an introduction to what this museum has to offer.  This elephant tooth proving to be a real talking point.   IMG_1762

There was lots of great feedback from the tour – and we’ll be taking their ideas on board as we look at ways of enhancing the project.  Although the suggestion of a “sniff” tour for the guide dogs might be a challenge.

There will be more tours at the Museum of Natural History in April, July and October.  But first we’ll be looking forward to facing very different challenges on our next Touch Tour at the Pitt Rivers Museum.

If you would like more information on upcoming touch tours please contact outreach@oum.ox.ac.uk or phone 01865 282456


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