Seeing might be believing but with touch, you know it’s real.
Seeing isn’t the only way to be able to enjoy culture! Thanks for Philly Touch tours, those with vision loss are provided with equal opportunities when it comes to cultural settings.
Developed by Trish Maunder and Austin Seraphin, Philly Touch Tours provide accessibility consulting, sensitivity training and instructional workshops for cultural and educational institutions and inclusive, sensory tours and experiences for people with vision loss in and around the Philadelphia area.
Those who are blind and visually impaired are able to “see” museums, nature centers and markets with their fingers.
According to their website, “Knowing that people who are blind or visually impaired are often constrained in their enjoyment of cultural inclusion by limited access and lack of understanding and misconceptions by others has inspired Trish and her team to redress this in the Philadelphia area with the development of Philly Touch Tours.”
Through partnerships and adaptation flexibility of the hosts, tour guests are able get a full sensory of some of the most historic attractions in Philadelphia (they have also expanded to New York and Hershey).
In the Philadelphia Italian Market, one of the oldest open air markets, guest can smell the aroma of the cheese from DiBruno Bros., and tempt their taste buds with chocolates from Anthony’s Chocolate House. At the Philadelphia Penn Museum, guests can trace hieroglyphics with their fingers on ancient Egyptian sarcophagi or take the pose of Sekhmet.
Although not all parts of the tours are tactile, large print and Braille informational packs can be made available.
Not only does Philly Touch Tours provide these tours, but they the team works with managers to figure out how to adapt their attractions for those who are blind or low vision, provides accessibility trainings for attractions, and offers multi-sensory workshops for all audiences.