Natural History Museum of Utah launches accessible tours

Mar 9, 2022, 1:38 PM
The Natural History Museum now has accessible audio tours available to visitors....
The museum aims to be more accessible with the new tours. Photo credit: Steve Griffin, Deseret News.

SALT LAKE CITY — The Natural History Museum of Utah announced today that audio tours in English and Spanish are now available to visitors. A descriptive tour for visitors with low vision will also be available.

The museum said audio tours will be free for museum members and will cost $2 for non-members.

These tours are an effort to be more accessible, according to the museum. It added that the tours also offer a unique experience to visitors.

The audio tours, titled “Inside Stories”, features many narrators.

“You’ll hear directly from more than 20 scientists and experts sharing behind-the-scenes stories of the objects on display, along with their fascinating history,” said Lisa Thompson, NHMU exhibit developer and co-creator of the audio guides. “Even if you’ve visited the Museum many times, you’ll discover new perspectives on what you see as these experts ‘join you’ on your tour.”

The museum said these tours were made possible through a grant from the George S. & Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation.

“We’re excited about the amazing difference the audio tours are going to make for museum visitors of every age,” said foundation President and COO Lisa Eccles.

The museum said it plans to add tours in more languages in the coming months.

A descriptive audio tour for visitors with low vision is also available now. According to the museum, this tour comes through a “free zone” of a smartphone app, Aira. This allows visitors to use the app for free. The app uses “sighted agents” to provide information and descriptions to users in real-time.

“These [tours] are a huge step forward in our Museum’s commitment to accessibility and welcoming a wide and diverse audience from near and far to explore Utah’s natural history,” said Echo Paixao, coordinator for the museum’s public programs and education accessibility.

Related: Discovery Gateway partners with Macey’s to update exhibit



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Natural History Museum of Utah launches accessible tours