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Natural History Museum of Utah Launches Audio Tours in English and Spanish and a Descriptive Tour for Visitors with Low Vision

Museum enhancement funded by the George S. & Dolores Doré Eccles Foundation

Thursday, February 24, 2022

 

SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Feb. 24, 2022— Like having an “expert in your ear,” a new audio tour device will give visitors to the Natural History Museum of Utah (NHMU) the chance to experience exhibits anew.

The Insider Stories audio tours, a top priority for the Museum for years, has been made possible by a generous grant from the George S. and 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 & COO Lisa Eccles, “sparking everyone’s curiosity and making learning more fun than ever. The stories really make the collections ‘come to life’ in wonderful new ways, from mollusks and mammals to dinosaurs and dragonflies … and so much more!”

Insider Stories tours take an unusual approach,” said Lisa Thompson, NHMU exhibit developer and co-creator of the audio guides, produced by Sandpail Productions. “Rather than listening to one narrator, 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. 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.”

Featuring 29 exhibits throughout the Museum's permanent galleries, the audio tours are provided free for Museum members and $2 for non-members.  They are available now in English and Spanish, with additional languages to be added in the coming months.

A Descriptive Audio Tour has also been created for those with low vision. In addition, the museum is the first in Utah to become an Aira ‘free zone,’ offering access to a free Aira smartphone application providing access for those with low vision or blindness to highly trained “sighted agents” who provide added information and descriptions in real time.

“These new multiple-language audio tours, along with the Descriptive Tour and Aira application, 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,” says Echo Paixao, coordinator for the Museum’s public programs and education accessibility.

For more information about Insider Stories, please visit: https://nhmu.utah.edu/insider-stories.

For more from NHMU including tickets to visit the Museum, please visit: nhmu.utah.edu.