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Touched by Waysides at Gulf Islands
The hurricanes of 2004 and 2005 pounded the 160-miles of coast at Gulf Islands National Seashore, damaging visitor centers and decimating the park's wayside exhibits. Harpers Ferry Center was on-site within months and contracted for over 250 waysides. The park-wide program included multiple orientation exhibits at key entry points and site-specific interpretation of the coastal ecosystems, the forts, and the history throughout the park. Some of the waysides have tactile elements and Braille.
With a commitment to reach visitors of all abilities, park staff challenged HFC to make the wayside exhibits fully accessible. Relief models and tactile maps were prototyped, reviewed by consultants from the National Center on Accessibility, and revamped to include their input. This process resulted in HFC Tactile Wayside Map Guidelines, which include fabrication requirements for contracted Braille.
As I've gotten out and viewed the new wayside panels and kiosks, I've been very impressed not only with the design and location of hardware, but with the high quality of the text, graphics and layouts.
Daniel Brown, Superintendent
Gulf Islands National Seashore