Ricardo López, a member of our advisory committee, was consulted by the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, Washington DC in order to provide guidance for the accessibility elements and some cultural aspects of one of their most recent exhibits.
“Presente! A Latino History of the United States" is an exhibit that, according to the Smithsonian website, seeks to “tell U.S. history from the perspectives of the diverse Latinas and Latinos who lived it and live it today. This exhibition uncovers hidden and forgotten stories, connects visitors to Latino culture, and lays the foundation for understanding how Latinas and Latinos inform and shape U.S. history and culture.”
This is the first gallery space of the National Museum of the American Latino. The gallery features important accessibility elements such as the QR codes that allow access to audio descriptions and keypads throughout the gallery which supply access to digital experiences. Accessibility features are provided both in Spanish and English. The physical design of the gallery itself also aims to be accessible to all, with Cane-detectable edges and protrusions and accessible furniture, viewing heights, and reach ranges.
The inauguration was attended by first lady Jill Biden, who highlighted the importance of Latinos in the country before it became a federal state. Also in attendance was singer José Feliciano, who sang the United States national anthem.
Ricardo López is a media specialist at the Model Secondary School for the Deaf/Gallaudet University. Mr. López, who is deaf, holds a Master’s Degree in Educational Technology and a second Master’s in School Library Media.