Out Loud: The Andy Warhol Museum and The Studio at Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh

Desi Gonzalez

Manager, Digital Engagement, Andy Warhol Museum

Andy Warhol Museum

117 Sandusky Street Pittsburgh, PA 15212 United States

https://www.warhol.org/

MUSE Mobile Applications Gold 2017

 

"Pop Art is For Everyone":
Providing Access to Visitors with Visual Impairments through Technology

 


 

Out Loud is The Andy Warhol Museumrs"s inclusive audio guide, available for all visitors but designed with a focus on visitors who are blind or have low vision. Out Loud allows visitors to learn about the Andy Warhol's life and art through different stories and a variety of voices. The iOS-based app uses Bluetooth low-energy beacons to show visitors stories based on their location, no longer requiring a visitor to read a number and type it into the device. Additionally, Out Loud weaves together educational content with vivid visual descriptions of Warhol artworks and delivers this content via a "smart" audio player that dynamically reorders audio based on a user's preferences or needs.

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Out Loud can be used in conjunction with over a dozen touchable, three-dimensional reproductions of selected works from the museumrs"s collection. The audio guide directs visitors through the experience of feeling the reproductions and visualizing the original artwork. The tactile reproductions were made using a computer numerical controlled router to fetch digital filesmdash;etching a single piece can require up to 80 hours of machine time.

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Through initiatives such as Out Loud and the tactile reproductions, The Warhol is leading the way in the museum field by combining technology and enhanced museum experiences to overcome barriers for people with disabilities. Because of The Warholrs"s commitment to inclusive design, the American Alliance of Museums awarded Out Loud the gold MUSE award for mobile applications in 2017 and described the app as "as a shining example of Universal Design."


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