Ohio Museums Conference Encourages Diversity and Inclusion

Apr 15, 2019

The Ohio Museums Association held its annual conference in Akron this week centered on ways to make museums more welcoming for all communities.

The discussion touched on equity, diversity and inclusion in Ohio’s historical and cultural institutions.

Ohio Museums Association President Alexandra Nicholis Coon said it’s about making these places more welcoming for everyone, regardless of background.

That could mean reaching out to refugee or immigrant communities or creating sensory rooms for visitors with autism or those with post-traumatic stress disorder.

"It might not be all that common now, but six months from now, a year from now, many more museums, I believe, will have if not spaces designated as sensory friendly, (then) tours or programs that cater to those with sensory challenges," she said. 

The Massillon Museum, where Nicholis Coon is executive director, and the Akron Zoo both offer either sensory friendly programming or sensory rooms.

The OMA conference was held at the Hilton Akron/Fairlawn.