Kate Zankowicz is a museum educator and volunteer member of the Accessibility Advisory Committee who is committed to making the ROM a place where everyone can learn. Currently, Kate is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Her dissertation focuses on the history of object-based learning and the roles women have played in developing and supporting multisensory learning at the ROM and at the Canadian National Exhibition. One of Kate’s favorite galleries is the Patrick and Barbara Keenan Family Gallery of Hands-On Biodiversity. The touch tables in this space give visitors the opportunity to examine and experience real specimens. Kate believes the tactile nature of the displays provides more enriching learning experiences for all visitors.
Kate has always been passionate about social justice advocacy. She teaches audiences of various abilities, writes Audio Description tours for people who are blind or have vision loss, and promotes access and equity in her community. Her favorite part of serving on the Committee is being a part of real changes happening in the museum. These initiatives are committee-led and have made exhibitions more accessible, such as the addition of tactile mounts and increasing label font sizes to facilitate easier reading. Recently, Kate was appointed Community Co-Chair and acts as a liaison between community members and the Committee. Doing committee work is a great privilege and has made her thankful to be exposed to different members’ knowledge and perspectives. She hopes that the work of the committee leads to more awareness that inclusion is good for everyone. People of all abilities benefit from access initiatives and the Accessibility Advisory Committee is make great progress in breaking down barriers so that inclusion at the museum includes everyone.
For more information on the ROM's Accessibility initiatives visit the webpage here.