Brooklyn Botanic Garden: Accessibility and Visitor Engagement

Training Workshops and Resources for Staff and Volunteers

In the winter and spring of 2016, Turnstile Studio was contracted by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden to conduct a series of training workshops, develop training tools and materials, and provide recommendations to further enhance accessibility and visitor engagement for both children and adults.

This project involved two separate accessibility training workshops with staff, K-12 instructors, Discovery Docents, and Garden Guides and the development of training resources to support the institution’s continuing efforts to provide welcoming experiences to visitors with disabilities. Turnstile staff conducted on-site observations of guided tours, school programs, and the Discovery Garden; created tailor-made training resources and evaluation tools for general public tours and the Discovery Garden; developed a train-the-trainers lesson plan with supplementary training materials and resources; supported the inaugural pilot early morning opening of the Discovery Garden for families with children who have disabilities; and delivered reports with assessments and recommendations based on observations and best practices in the field for future capacity-building efforts.

As part of a separate but related project, Cindy VandenBosch of Turnstile Studio collaborated with Miriam Bader Consulting to provide the Brooklyn Botanic Garden with a training workshop and related resources focused on general visitor engagement tools, techniques, and best practices for guided tours. This project involved tour observations and a pre-workshop survey with docents and staff, the development of customized training resources and handouts, as well as recommendations related to visitor engagement on tours of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden based on observations and best practices in the field.