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Initiative Launches to Enhance Museum Accessibility at 23 Historic Sites

An rendering of the Hendrick I. Lott House that shows plan to build an accessibility ramp to the front door. The Lott House is white with green shutters and the yard has a white well. People are scattered across the yard, including a girl looking into the well and a girl in a wheelchair.

The New York Community Trust has awarded the Historic House Trust of New York City (HHT) $339,000 to improve physical and intellectual access to public house museums in ways that are beneficial to people living with disabilities. This project—led by a team specializing in ADA compliance within historically-significant environments, and with experience creating innovative museum accessibility programs—will position HHT and its 23 historic sites at the forefront of such initiatives across the nation.

The substantial funding will facilitate the creation of a tangible plan for improving museum accessibility to HHT’s significant cultural treasures. The grant will also help launch pilot programs that invite all populations to participate in the educational opportunities these historic resources provide. This multi-year initiative will include an accessibility audit; the creation of concrete recommendations for pressing needs; and the implementation of solutions through the introduction of new programming, technologies, and tools at five historic house museum sites.

HHT's Executive Director John Krawchuk notes that the organization is “thrilled to be spearheading this vital project via the generosity of the New York Community Trust, a partnership that will focus on both addressing physical access within historic contexts and launching programming that creates universal interactive experiences. This will result in enhanced exploration at these portals to nearly 400 years of New York City history and inspirational models that can guide other historic sites that strive to broaden accessibility."

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