Summer is a time when many people take vacations, and historic sites are some of the attractions visited by tourists. Unfortunately, exhibits at many sites are not accessible to blind people because they lack tactile models and information presented in braille, large print, or audio formats.

Occasionally, I learn of sites that provide some accessible content. In this short post, I share two examples from the National Park Service that were sent to me. I have not visited the sites, but I share the information in hopes of inspiring others to seek accessible content when they are on vacations and to offer feedback when it is lacking.

A colleague emailed me about the Muir Woods National park near San Francisco. The visitors center displays an extremely nice 3-D model of the park that takes up a large tabletop

And it gives all visitors a great overview of the richness of the park. Tactile signage and a cell phone app that uses Bluetooth way point markers provide great access to the park. He was impressed with the variety of tactile formats and other technologies to provide a meaningful access experience.

A social media post announced the availability of New tactile trail maps at the Cabrillo National Monument on the Pacific coast near San Diego California. When I checked their website, I learned that the park has tactile models of the light house and a whale made of bronze. They also have text in more than one format including digitally in an app, and hardcopy guidebooks in braille.

I encourage travelers to look for tactile models and information in alternative formats like audio, braille, or large print. Visitors can ask staff if they have tactile models. The answers will vary but asking lets them know that accessible exhibits and materials are important to some of their visitors.

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