6.1 The Museum Context

Writing exhibit text that is accessible and enriches each visitor’s experience in the Museum presents a unique challenge for a number of reasons:

  • Visitors comprise a diverse audience of different backgrounds and cultures, reading abilities in both English and French, and a range of general knowledge.
  • Visitors are often only able to dedicate a limited amount of time to their visit, usually stopping at one-third to one-half of exhibits on display; this means their reading behaviour tends to be non-sequential and non-linear.
  • Visitors experience physical fatigue as they complete their journey through the galleries.
  • Visitors encounter many distractions, from their fellow visitors to the sensory and auditory features of other exhibits.

To ensure that our content is inclusive and accessible to all visitors, the CMHR adheres to a set of criteria and processes for producing exhibit text for both permanent and temporary exhibitions. These standards include the following and are outlined in more detail in the remainder of this section:

  • Text types and word counts
  • Readability (plain language and reading level)
  • Inclusive language