SXSW 2020: Accessibility for Museum Digital Experiences

Posted February 26, 2020

UPDATE: Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the City of Austin has canceled SXSW 2020. To receive updates about when we will present this talk in the future, and more ESI Design news, sign up for our newsletter.

This year’s South by Southwest conference in Austin, TX will serve as a destination for discovery and both creative and professional growth. Thought leaders in technology, culture, the arts and more will gather to share their insights on their industries, developing an expansive network of creative professionals.

As a part of SXSW 2020, ESI Design’s Principal, Creative and Head of Media Environments Emily Webster will share the stage with New York City’s first Digital Accessibility Coordinator Walei Sabry to discuss how The Statue of Liberty Museum sets new benchmarks for making museums more inclusive.

A man in a wheelchair (left) and a woman standing (right) use interactive kiosks featuring sketches by Bartholdi.
Creating a memorable experience for visitors of all abilities was a top priority in ESI Design’s approach to the exhibits at the Statue of Liberty Museum.

What to Expect: Accessibility for Museum Digital Experiences

Thanks to ever-improving technology, museums are offering more interactive experiences than ever before, but many of these exhibits remain inaccessible to people with disabilities. With new federal mandates requiring museums to provide equitable access and resources for all people, the time is now for museum designers to step it up and make digital experiences for all. In this talk, the museum’s exhibit designers will present a case study for creating interactive and digital experiences that are accessible for the widest range of people. They will cover best practices, and accessibility innovations that must be considered for public experiences.

What you’ll learn:

  • How museums make interactive experiences accessible to all people, regardless of ability.
  • How federal ADA guidelines have changed in relation to digital interactive experiences and IT at museums.
  • New ways that audio, video, and digital media can be used to make museums more accessible.

Event Details

March 16, 2020
5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
JW Marriott
Salon D

Meet the Speaker: Emily Webster

Headshot of Emily Webster.

As a Principal/SVP, Creative, at ESI Design and at the helm of ESI’s pioneering Media Environments practice, Emily Webster leads teams at ESI to thoughtfully design how technology can be used to activate a space and tell a contemporary story. Involved in projects from business development to completion, she brings a strategic approach to the creative implementation fo interactive technologies, and helps our clients create engaging, immersive and meaningful experiences that elevate their brand within the marketplace. She views buildings as platforms that can adapt over time as the needs of the space or the business change.

She’s lead numerous award-winning and iconic projects at ESI including eBay Main Street, The Statue of Liberty Museum, and The Beacon at PNC Tower. A sought-after thought leader in her field, she has presented at such high-profile conferences as Digital Signage Expo and FastCo Innovation Festival.

Emily applies her education in architecture and training as a dancer to think about how people move through space. She earned a degree in Architecture and a Master’s from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program. Before joining ESI, she worked for WET Design, photographer David LaChapelle, the Independent Film Channel, and artist Jim Campbell.


Meet the Speaker: Walei Sabry

Headshot of Walei Sabry.

Through his 15 year career in disability technology, Walei has worked on many high profile projects for government , educational initiations and fortune 500 companies. Currently working for the New York City Mayor’s Office, as the Digital Accessibility Coordinator, Walei makes sure that the City of New York’s digital products can be accessed by all.

Walei is NYC’s First Digital Accessibility Coordinator. In the time he has held that role he has become an expert at making all types of digital content and public technologies accessible to a wide array of users.

He regularly assists designers, developers and content creators in making digital products such as maps, data visualizations, kiosks, videos, interactive infographics and social media posts accessible. Whether by conducting website audits, providing staff awareness trainings or representing the disability community, Walei is constantly changing perceptions one situation at a time.

Are you heading to SXSW 2020?

Let’s meet up! Email our team to make time for coffee.

Michelle Lampariello

Michelle was ESI Design’s Fall 2019 Marketing Intern, and blogged about the latest happenings at ESI and beyond.

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