Visitor Accessibility for Wayside Exhibits
- Plan a Wayside
- Why Use Waysides?
- Develop a Wayside Team
- Cost Estimating
- Download Wayside Planning App
Harpers Ferry Center is committed to providing outdoor interpretive exhibits that are accessible to all potential users. Wayside exhibits will be planned, designed, fabricated, and installed in a manner consistent with the following goals. Standards and specifications used to ensure that these goals are met include:
- HFC Guidelines for Media Accessibility
- Director’s Order #42
- NPS Wayside Exhibit Map Standards (21 pages - 1.7 MB)
- NPS Wayside Exhibit Typographic Standards
- Americans with Disabilities Act and Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Guidelines (same as Architectural Barriers Act Accessibility Standards – ABAAS); federal facilities must use Chapters F1 and F2/Chapters 3-10
For Visitors with Mobility Impairments
- Wayside exhibits will be installed at accessible locations wherever possible.
- Wayside exhibit panels will be installed at heights and angles favorable for viewing by all visitors, including wheelchair users. For standard NPS low-profile exhibits the recommended height is 30" from the bottom of the exhibit frame to finished grade; for upright exhibits and bulletin boards the height is 24-28” from the bottom of the exhibit frame to finished grade, depending on panel size.
- Trailhead exhibits will include accessibility advisory information.
- Wayside exhibits will have level, hard-surfaced exhibit pads.
- Exhibit sites will offer clear, unrestricted views of park features referred to in the exhibits.
- In addition, the park should consider posting wayside content (excluding copyright material) on the park's website.
For Visitors with Visual Impairments
- Exhibit typography will be legible and readable, according with the NPS Wayside Exhibit Typographic Standards .
- Panel colors will be selected to reduce eyestrain and glare and to provide excellent readability under field conditions. Because of its reflectivity, white will not be used as a background color.
- Selected wayside exhibits will incorporate tactile elements such as models, texture blocks, and relief maps.
- Selected wayside exhibits will incorporate audio stations.
- For all major features interpreted by graphic wayside exhibits, the park will offer non-visual interpretation (i.e. audio description) covering the same subject matter. Examples include audio tours such as digital audio players, radio systems or dial-up messages for cellular phone users, and ranger talks. In the spirit of Universal Design, we strongly encourage audio descriptions designed for the benefit of all visitors rather than a separate program.
- In addition, parks should consider posting wayside content on the park's website.
For Visitors with Hearing Impairments
- Wayside exhibit panels will communicate visually and will rely heavily on graphics to interpret park resources.
- Essential information included in audio station messages will be duplicated in written form, either as part of the exhibit text or in a publication.
For Visitors with Learning Impairments
- Topics for wayside exhibits will be specific and of general interest. Unnecessary complexity will be avoided. Information will be presented in a clear hierarchical manner.
- Easy-to-understand graphics will be used to convey ideas, rather than text alone.
- Unfamiliar expressions, technical terms, and jargon will be avoided. Pronunciation aids and definitions will be provided where needed.
- Text will be concise and free of long paragraphs and wordy language.
- Wayside exhibit planning begins with comprehensive park wide interpretive planning. Early recognition of, and sensitivity to, accessibility issues will result in the most successful waysides.