Introduction

From its inception, the Canadian Museum of Human Rights (CMHR) was conceived as a space that would be welcoming to the most diverse of audiences. Our goal was to ensure that any member of the public, regardless of age, background or ability, could fully experience all aspects of the Museum.

We have achieved that goal by recognizing that this pursuit will never be finished. Instead of reaching a conclusion, we have instead put into practice a system of iterative evolution and progression. Throughout this process we have fostered a culture of change and understanding. As our starting point, we have based our work on the Smithsonian guidelines for inclusive and accessible design as well as the guidelines for the Science Museum in London and the Musée de la civilization. We also adhere to the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) web-based accessibility standards and the most stringent criteria under both the provincial and national building codes.

Broadly, inclusiveness has been the CMHR’s methodology, and accessibility has been the outcome. We have achieved this not only with cutting-edge technology, but through nation- wide input from members of the disability community, a partnership between the Museum’s Inclusive Design Advisory Council and the Council of Canadians with Disabilities, and the pioneering Canadian research undertaken by institutions such as the Ontario College of Art and Design University Inclusive Design Research Centre. In addition, the CMHR has created a national testing group to ensure that accessibility standards are met and continue to be maintained.

The CMHR building, as well as its exhibitions, programs and operations have been inclusively designed from the outset, making both our building and its content available in a seamless manner for all our visitors. The CMHR stands as one of the most accessible museums in the world. This guide describes the specifics of how the CMHR has met or exceeded standards for inclusive design.