The New Museum at the Gateway Arch is Universally Designed for All

The highly anticipated Museum at the Gateway Arch is set to officially re-open its doors on July 3, 2018 following a major renovation. This new museum has been created with all abilities in mind, an idea called “universal design,” so that all people can enjoy the exhibits together.

Our Adventure Camp campers were invited to test these new exhibits during a special preview of the museum on June 18. As children and teens with special needs, they were the perfect audience for the task. And they were thrilled with what they found.

Typically, even if a museum is deemed “accessible,” the exhibits aren’t truly designed for all needs. Those with disabilities are often required to sit and watch instead of truly seeing or interacting with an entire exhibit.

But that isn’t the case with the Arch Museum – all of our campers can now easily access each and every part of it.

Wheelchair users, as well as those using walkers, strollers and other mobility devices, can now roll right up to any part of any exhibit at the museum, allowing them to have the full experience. There is a cutout canoe (a “pirogue”) with space for a wheelchair or stroller, and a completely accessible, full-size replica of a cabin to provide endless fun for the imagination.

Each exhibit also features a miniature display available for all to touch and feel. This way, people with sensory needs, guests who have vision loss, or even those who simply like to touch a piece of history, can become fully immersed in that exhibit in their own way. Other updates include interactive screens that visually and audibly share stories from throughout the 200 years of history the museum covers – just another way the creators behind the museum have made sure this information is accessible to all.

When we asked the campers what they thought of the new museum, words such as “interactive,” “high-tech,” “new things,” “hands-on” and “modern” were enthusiastically shared. And if that doesn’t say enough, the happy grins spread across the campers’ faces as they moved about the museum should.

You can experience the new Museum at the Gateway Arch starting July 3, 2018. For more information, visit https://www.gatewayarch.com/.