Accessible Projects and Partners

Rope and post guiding system on a trail
Rope and post guiding system on a trail

The effort to create universally accessible wildlife sanctuaries was the result of working with partners and generous supporters.

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IMLS-Funded Accessible Trails Project

In 2010, Mass Audubon was awarded a $102,065 grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to add multi-sensory interpretive content on existing ADA-accessible nature trails at eight wildlife sanctuaries across the state. The goal of this project is to create a richer experience for visitors with a wide range of vision, hearing, and mobility levels.

Improvements to the eight trails include:

  • Audio tours
  • Brailled texts and tactile maps
  • Tour scripts and maps designed for high readability for visually impaired and sighted visitors
  • New orientation maps and information panels
  • Improved signage along trails
  • Rope/post guiding systems
  • Wider boardwalks

In 2014, IMLS provided additional funding to produce a comprehensive guidelines manual for developing and sustaining an accessible interpreted trail. The goal is to share what we have learned with other organizations. The manual provides ideas for collaborative partnerships, developing and testing trail materials with volunteer expert users and resource professionals, and outreach.

Massachusetts Cultural Council

The MCC's UP Inclusive Design Initiative seeks to inspire organizations to use design to anticipate and accommodate the full spectrum of human ability. UP is Universal Programs, Universal Places. Mass Audubon, along with 26 other cultural organizations, participates in the UP network in order to continually improve accessibility and inclusion at our nature centers, in our programs, and through our visitor services.