Accessibility Awareness Week Spotlight 2013 - Adam Roy Cohoon

Posted: May 29, 2013 - 10:30 , by Ryan Dodge
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Accessibility, Exhibitions and Galleries | Comments (0) | Comment
Adam Roy Cohoon visits the ROM

Adam Roy Cohoon is an active member of the accessibility advocacy community. He has been a member of the ROM’s Accessibility Advisory Committee since 2010 and is also involved with the Anne Johnston Barrier-Free Advisory Council and the TTC Advisory Committee on Accessible Transportation. Adam regularly speaks publically about disabilities and accessibility issues, giving talks at Ryerson University and University of Toronto to the Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy students. Surprisingly, he still finds time to indulge in his creative side, regularly visiting cultural institutions across the city. Adam is a visual artist, passionate about abstract painting and urban photography.

Adam tries to balance his love of sports and art, explaining that he can never seem to find a way to do both. He fondly remembers dragging his family to a museum in Bruce County as a child to see an exhibition on the history of hockey. His enthusiasm for learning has continued into his adulthood, jokingly claiming that he spends half of his time on Wikipedia. His participation with the ROM started when he was asked to be a part of an accessibility focus group for the Terracotta Army exhibition. Since then, Adam has been actively involved as a member of the Accessibility Awareness Committee.

Meetings of the Accessibility Awareness Committee usually include presentations from design teams and curators, allowing the Committee to provide feedback and suggestions. Personally, Adam has seen an impact in the Museum from his feedback on labeling. Text panels are often too high, too small, and placed at an inconvenient angle. Adjustments can be seen in the Eaton Gallery of Rome, where text panels were lowered, text size was increased, and the panels were angled down for less glare and easier reading.

The Committee sets the protocols for accessibility standards across the museum, many of which can now be seen in new features of the Gallery of Korea including: raised text, large print, touchable reproductions, lowered panels, and Braille. As a community member, Adam feels it is his responsibility to advocate for open accessibility. Seeing the Museum as a social space, he hopes for continued accessibility efforts in the future as there is always room for improvement.

For more information on the museum's accessibility initiatives, visit the webpage here.

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