Date of Graduation

Winter 12-18-2015

Document Type

Restricted Project/Capstone - USF access only

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Museum Studies

College/School

College of Arts and Sciences

Department/Program

Museum Studies

First Advisor

Marjorie Schwarzer

Second Advisor

Paula Birnbaum

Abstract

This capstone paper describes the need, benefits and processes for how Aquarium of the Bay (AOTB, founded in 2001), a private nonprofit organization, will be able to serve people with disabilities in their facilities and programs through an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) policy. Prior to ADA law being passed in 1990, people with disabilities did not have access to the physical environment or intellectual content, because barriers existed in almost every aspect of American society. ADA law significantly changed the lives of millions of people, allowing them to access cultural institutions. This paper addresses the social needs of individuals with disabilities. It specifically explains how AOTB will be able to create a comprehensive ADA policy to serve people who have any kind of disability by providing accommodations that are recognized as best practices. Implementing an ADA policy will protect the Aquarium and its parent organization bay.org from potential lawsuits by making AOTB fully accessible. It will also extend AOTB’s mission to reach out to new audiences.

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