My name is Miriam Hunt and I am a PhD student working with Cardiff University and the National Museum Wales. I am interested in how museums make themselves accessible and relevant to disabled people, from how visitors move around exhibition spaces to how disabled people are represented or absent in stories about our history.
Discourses about the nature of disability have changed radically since the 1960s, shifting from a medical perspective focussed on cure to the influential social model, which is concerned with barriers to inclusion disabled people face from the built environment and social structures.
Museums, on the other hand, have changed the way in which they relate to their visitors. The curator role is no longer considered in terms of imparting universal truths to visitors, but instead encouraging complex discussions around multiple understandings of the world and supporting diverse learning styles. Part of this is looking to communities who have historically been underrepresented in visitor numbers, including disabled people.
My research sits at the intersection of these dynamic discourses.