ADA Accessible Museum Tour App

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Museum Tour App

ADA Accessible Museum Tour App

The last ten years of smart phone technology has presented so many new opportunities to make destinations even more accessible to people who are visually impaired.  The National Marine Sanctuary’s Shipwreck Museum in Alpena, Michigan has made its museum and boat tour accessible to guests who are visually impaired through on site displays and a museum tour app that can be continually updated.  Learn how the Shipwreck Alley App was created and how it is helping the museum meet accessibility guidelines.  


The App

The National Marine Sanctuary in Alpena, Michigan recently created a museum tour app available on the App Store and Google Play.  The mobile app tour would allow guests to take a self guided tour.   The Shipwreck Alley App offers guests a self-guided tour of the Shipwreck museum as well as a GPS triggered outdoor tour on their glass bottom boat.  The vision for creating an app grew out of the desire to make their museum and boat tour accessible for people who are visually impaired.

Accessibility Features

The goal was to make the museum and boat tour a self-guided and independent experience for all guests.   After much research, the Marine Sanctuary liked the Tour Buddy App because they input their own content into the easy to use App Builder and they could integrate the app with ibeacons.  The ibeacons would make it possible for guests to be notified when they are in a particular section of the museum and hear audio about that section.  In addition to the ibeacon integration, the iOS Tour Buddy App is also optimized for accessibility.   Users can turn on the voice over mode and listen to the app’s content being read, a key feature in iOS devices for users who are visually impaired.

Now, guests who are visually impaired as well as those who have full sight can enjoy an interactive and self-guided tour of the Shipwreck museum.

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