The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is asking for input from the Deaf community.
The ALPLM is launching a new “Abe for All” initiative to improve access, starting with special services this Thursday, March 3rd, for World Hearing Day.
The museum will offer sign language interpreters for its theatrical presentations during the event, which runs 4-7 p.m. Museum staff, volunteers, and interpreters will wear clear face shields instead of masks, so speech reading is easier, and exhibits will be enhanced with QR codes and monitors to share written information.
Admission is free and anyone is welcome to attend, but museum officials say the goal is to gather feedback from the Deaf community on how to improve the experience for guests who are deaf or hard of hearing. Guests will have a chance to share their thoughts in surveys during their visit.
Executive director, Christina Shutt says she and her staff want every person to fully appreciate the Lincoln legacy, and that means they are committed to improving accessibility for all.
Shutt says special hours and services on World Hearing Day are just the first step in the “Abe for All” initiative, like other special events and information-gathering opportunities are planned for the year ahead.
The next is a sensory-friendly event 4-7 p.m. on Saturday, April 2. Audio throughout the museum will be lowered and lighting will be increased to create a more fluid atmosphere.
Touch tables in the journeys and new activities will allow increased engagement opportunities for guests. Pre-visit preparation packets are available by calling 217-558-8844 or emailing ALPLM.GuestEntry@illinois.gov.