Tenement Museum Celebrates Disability Awareness Month with Walking Tours in ASL

New York, NY

On October 6, the Tenement Museum celebrated Disability Awareness image002Month by hosting its very first walking tour in American Sign Language (ASL). As a museum that is only available through guided tour, the Tenement Museum is excited to be able to continue expanding offerings for visitors who are deaf and hard of hearing.

Alexandria Wailes, an educator for the museum who is also deaf, led the Storefront Stories walking tour in ASL. Tenement Museum visitors were excited about the opportunity to participate in this event that was practically sold out. The visitors truly enjoyed the content and the experience–the discussions continued well after the tour was over. For some visitors, this was their first experience at the Tenement Museum and all of them signed up to learn about future ASL tours.

Many visitors who are deaf or hard of hearing that participate in the free ASL tours attend because Wailes is leading the tour. She is an expert storyteller, very engaging, and extremely knowledgeable. The Tenement Museum searches for these qualities in every educator they hire. Working with Wailes has truly contributed to the success of the ASL programs at the museum.

Walking tour participants.  The Tenement Museum offers a tour in ASL every other month, most of which are led by Wailes. Each tour is followed by a reception featuring local Lower East Side foods. The museum is currently able to offer most of its building tours and one walking tour starting in October and ending in June. Tours are free but space is limited so reservations are required.

To find out more about these tours, check out the Tenement Museum website http://bit.ly/TenementAccess.