Philly Touch Tours

Philly Touch Tours Philly Touch Tours designs and provides hands-on sensory and inclusive arts and cultural experiences

Philly Touch Tours has been formed to provide rich and meaningful hands-on sensory and inclusive experiences in and around the Philadelphia region for people who are blind or visually impaired. Whether you are a local Philadelphian or a visitor from out of town or overseas you have come to the right place. Our enthusiastic team is primed and ready to offer creative and inclusive opportunities for

people with vision loss and their friends and family to engage with the area’s local culture and history. Accessibility Consulting and Training

We offer Accessibility Consulting and Disability Awareness/Sensitivity Training with half day or full day sessions for a wide range of professionals including museum and cultural institution staff as well as educators, medical professionals and school and college students. We have extensive experience in accessible program design and presentation of tours for groups of children and adults with visual impairment, including those with hearing loss. Touch and Sensory Tours

Our team of sighted and visually impaired consultants, artists and educators know that people with vision loss desire equal access to and inclusion in social and cultural experiences in and around their surroundings. We provide a range of rich and meaningful sensory activities in the city’s social, historical, natural and cultural life through carefully designed and accessible tours. We are delighted to partner with individuals and organizations to offer a rich variety of experiences to accommodate individual tastes. Tours include a unique museum program, a history based walking tour, the immersion into a favorite local market and a tasting and culinary experience in a neighborhood brewery. Tours are available for individuals with vision loss and their friends or family members and for groups from organizations or centers who support or work with people who are blind or visually impaired. Tour guides are trained in verbal description and sighted guide techniques. Contact Us:
www.phillytouchtours.com
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 215-790-9079 Twitter:

A shout out to Eastern State Penitentiary for their inclusive programing for people who are blind/low vision. They have ...
07/29/2023

A shout out to Eastern State Penitentiary for their inclusive programing for people who are blind/low vision. They have already held a few successful touch and sensory tours and now, after a more in depth training session by Philly Touch Tours, we hope they will continue this important venture. It is so encouraging to see our local and amazing institutions get on board! Image shows the hands of 5 people exploring a 3D print of the Penitentiary's structure: An octagonal center connected by corridors to seven radiating single-story cell blocks. With Katherine Allen, Simon Bonenfant and Lisa Bryant.

Thank you so much to Lisa Bryant, reporter for Billy Penn at WHYY, for this comprehensive and fabulous article about Phi...
07/19/2023

Thank you so much to Lisa Bryant, reporter for Billy Penn at WHYY, for this comprehensive and fabulous article about Philly Touch Tours/Philly MeetUp for the Blind and Visually Impaired's recent visit to Philadelphia's Magic Gardens! Accessibility is everything!

Philly Touch Tours held staff trainings at the Philadelphia museum, where Isaiah Zagar’s mosaics are on display.

A privilege and pleasure to co-present about touch tour design with for Penn Museum's Academic Engagement program yester...
06/29/2023

A privilege and pleasure to co-present about touch tour design with for Penn Museum's Academic Engagement program yesterday!

Philly Touch Tours' Social Group "MeetUp for the Blind and Visually Impaired" had a great turnout of 16 people yesterday...
06/06/2023

Philly Touch Tours' Social Group "MeetUp for the Blind and Visually Impaired" had a great turnout of 16 people yesterday evening for a fun experience of touching and learning about the artwork of Isaiah Zagar at Philadelphia's Magic Gardens. Thanks so much to Olivia and Silke for welcoming and hosting us. Can't wait to be back for more!

Guide-Led Sensory-Friendly Touch Tour at Eastern State Penitentiary on Saturday, May 6, 9:00 - 10:30 amFree. Advance reg...
04/05/2023

Guide-Led Sensory-Friendly Touch Tour at Eastern State Penitentiary on Saturday, May 6, 9:00 - 10:30 am
Free. Advance registration required.
Email [email protected] for tickets.

Eastern State invites people who are blind, who have low vision, or who have sensory sensitivity needs to experience the historic site through a sensory-friendly touch tour.

The educator leading the tour will use elements of verbal description, guided touch, and sighted guide techniques. In addition, sensory backpacks will be made available.

Each tour is limited to 10 people, and advance registration is required. Can't make this one? An additional Guide-Led Sensory-Friendly Touch Tour will be offered on June 3! Learn More

03/22/2023

A helpful guide for those in the food industry and restaurants in making an accessible and friendly environment for those who are blind or who have low vision:

01/11/2023

Sissel Tolaas, an artist with a background in chemistry, says she spent 30 years collecting smell molecules.

Looking down on city hall From william Penn’s hat!
12/27/2022

Looking down on city hall From william Penn’s hat!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from Philadelphia! 🎄✨

photo by (Instagram)

An excellent article by reporter, Lisa Bryant, who is also a member of Philly Touch Tours' "Vision Council" and of our s...
12/27/2022

An excellent article by reporter, Lisa Bryant, who is also a member of Philly Touch Tours' "Vision Council" and of our social MeetUp group.

Sissel Tolaas, an artist with a background in chemistry, says she spent 30 years collecting smell molecules.

Microsoft's Seeing AI: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/ai/seeing-ai
03/04/2022

Microsoft's Seeing AI: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/ai/seeing-ai

Seeing AI app helps people with vision impairment convert visual info into audio. Download for free in English, Dutch, German, French, Japanese, and Spanish.

MacArthur Genius Award winner Josh Miele in the podcast link attached. Learn about some cutting edge access tecnology av...
01/09/2022

MacArthur Genius Award winner Josh Miele in the podcast link attached. Learn about some cutting edge access tecnology available on Amazon and elsewhere:

“A pleasure to talk and with Nancy and Pete, + an honor to be first in their 2022 podcast lineup! https://t.co/f460KAlv4j”

01/03/2022

Happy New Year from Philly Touch Tours. Wishing all our friends and colleagues a healthy and peaceful year ahead. Let's work together to make our world more welcoming and accessible for all!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all you from all of us at Philly Touch Tours and Philly MeetUp for the Blind/VI. 🎄...
12/17/2021

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all you from all of us at Philly Touch Tours and Philly MeetUp for the Blind/VI. 🎄🎁🎊

A very nice article about our work at Philly Touch Tours with the Museum of the American Revolution ! Congrats to the mu...
11/05/2021

A very nice article about our work at Philly Touch Tours with the Museum of the American Revolution ! Congrats to the museum for their great work and to Simon Bonenfant and Liz Mayeux for their expertise and clear and helpful comments and suggestions.
https://whyy.org/articles/visual-art-for-the-visually-impaired-philly-museum-tests-out-new-ways-to-experience-paintings/

The Museum of the American Revolution is testing a new way to present visual art to people who are visually impaired, creating richer experiences for all patrons.

11/01/2021
Tips in this video for interacting with a guide dog team: (the handler and the dog) by Guiding Eyes for the Blind: https...
10/22/2021

Tips in this video for interacting with a guide dog team: (the handler and the dog) by Guiding Eyes for the Blind:
https://www.guidingeyes.org/working_guide_dog_team_video/

Guiding Eyes for the Blind provides guide dogs to people with vision loss. We are passionate about connecting exceptional dogs with individuals for greater independence.

An acting role available for a young female blind actor- please share.
09/25/2021

An acting role available for a young female blind actor- please share.

Anthony Doerr’s Pulitzer Prize-winning bestseller All The Light We Cannot See will become an epic four-part Netflix limited series produced by Shawn Levy’s 21 Laps Entertainment (Stranger Things, Free Guy, Shadow and Bone, Arrival) and written by Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders). Levy is set to direct all episodes.

All the Light We Cannot See tells the story of Marie-Laure, a teenager who is blind, and Werner, a German soldier, whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Levy and producers are announcing a worldwide casting search for the lead role of teenage “Marie-Laure.” Actresses who are blind or low vision are especially encouraged to apply. Those interested can apply by emailing [email protected].

All The Light We Cannot See quickly became a global phenomenon when it was published in 2014 and has received wide critical acclaim as well as a Pulitzer Prize in 2015, and the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction in 2015. All the Light We Cannot See has spent more than 200 weeks on the New York Times best-seller list, and has sold more than 5.7 million copies in North America across print, e-book and audio formats and another 9.5 million copies worldwide.

Shawn Levy, Dan Levine and Josh Barry of 21 Laps Entertainment will serve as Executive Producers on the series. 21 Laps is the production company behind PGA Award-winning global phenomenon Stranger Things and Oscar nominated film Arrival, along with the Netflix hit Shadow and Bone, along with the recently released hit movie Free Guy. Knight will also serve as an Executive Producer. Joe Strechay (See, The OA) will serve as Associate Producer, Blindness and Accessibility Consultant.

Read this announcement on our website by visiting: https://acb.org/netflix-all-the-light-we-cannot-see.

Today, Artblog contributor Natalie Sandstrom begins hosting a new three-part Artblog Radio series on the topic of Access...
04/22/2021

Today, Artblog contributor Natalie Sandstrom begins hosting a new three-part Artblog Radio series on the topic of Accessibility in the cultural sector. This first episode features Katie Samson, Director of Education at Art-Reach, a Philadelphia-based non-profit organization dedicated to making the arts accessible and inclusive. Art-Reach celebrates their 35 anniversary this week! Check back in May for episode 2 featuring another expert in this important field.
https://www.theartblog.org/2021/04/cultural-accessibility-in-philadelphia-an-artblog-radio-series-part-1-katie-samson-of-art-reach/

Natalie Sandstrom interviews Katie Samson, Director of Education at Art-Reach, in part 1 of a new three-part Artblog Radio series on the topic of Cultural Accessibility.

https://generocity.org/philly/2021/02/25/accessibility-blind-visually-impaired-penn-museum/Happy to share this very nice...
02/25/2021

https://generocity.org/philly/2021/02/25/accessibility-blind-visually-impaired-penn-museum/

Happy to share this very nice article about our work with Philly Touch Tours and about our wonderful colleague at the Penn Museum and all he does to keep accessibility for the blind and visually impaired thriving during this difficult time! Many thanks to journalist, Lisa Andrews for this timely piece!

From touch tours to multi-sensory traveling boxes to ingenious alternatives in online programming, the museum in the heart of University City makes anthropology and archaeology come alive for blind and visually impaired patrons.

12/25/2020

Wishing everyone love, peace and harmony this Holiday!

11/21/2020
Use Reminders on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch

Useful Apple Accessibility and Apple Learning resources from “Accessing Abilities: Executive Briefing” education briefing events.

GENERAL:
Accessibility - Apple
https://www.apple.com/accessibility/

Accessibility - iPad - Apple
https://www.apple.com/accessibility/ipad/

Accessibility Support - Official Apple Support
https://www.apple.com/support/accessibility

Apple – Accessibility – Sady - YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XB4cjbYywqg

Apple Accessibility - YouTube Playlist
https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLIl2EzNYri0cLtSlZowttih25VnSvWITu

VISION:

Braille displays supported by iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch - Apple Support
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202514

Turn on and practice VoiceOver on iPad - Apple Support
https://support.apple.com/guide/ipad/turn-on-and-practice-voiceover-ipad9a246898/ipados

Type Braille directly on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch - Apple Support
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT210066

Use display and text size preferences on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch - Apple Support
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207025

Use Typing Feedback on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch - Apple Support
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207061

Vision Accessibility - iPad - Apple
https://www.apple.com/accessibility/ipad/vision/

Zoom in on the iPad screen - Apple Support
https://support.apple.com/guide/ipad/zoom-ipad9a245e3e/ipados

HEARING:

Customize headphone audio levels on your iPhone or iPad - Apple Support
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT211218

Hear iPad speak the screen, selected text, and typing feedback - Apple Support
https://support.apple.com/guide/ipad/spoken-content-ipad9a247097/ipados

Hearing Accessibility - iPad - Apple
https://www.apple.com/accessibility/ipad/hearing/

Recognize sounds using iPad - Apple Support
https://support.apple.com/guide/ipad/sound-recognition-ipad6c28ec42/ipados

Use Live Listen with AirPods and Powerbeats Pro - Apple Support
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT209082

Use Made for iPhone hearing devices - Apple Support
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201466

MOBILITY:

Introducing Voice Control on Mac and iOS — Apple - YouTube
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqoXFCCTfm4

Mobility Accessibility - iPad - Apple
https://www.apple.com/accessibility/ipad/mobility/

Use AssistiveTouch on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch - Apple Support
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202658

Use Switch Control to navigate your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch - Apple Support
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201370

Use Voice Control on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch - Apple Support
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT210417

LEARNING:

Add animated titles to a Clips video on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch - Apple Support
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207848

Apple Education Learning Series - Accessibility: Improve Reading Fluency
https://video.ibm.com/recorded/126367548

Apple Education Learning Series - Increase Productivity with AssistiveTouch
https://video.ibm.com/recorded/126608658

Augmented Reality - Apple
https://www.apple.com/augmented-reality/

Augmented Reality in Education - Lesson Ideas (PDF)
https://www.apple.com/education/docs/ar-in-edu-lesson-ideas.pdf

Browse the web using Safari on iPad - Apple Support
https://support.apple.com/guide/ipad/browse-the-web-ipad999d68f9/14.0/ipados/14.0

Clips on the App Store
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/clips/id1212699939

Create an EPUB book in Pages - Apple Support
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208499

Draw or write in Notes on iPad - Apple Support
https://support.apple.com/en-al/guide/ipad/ipada87a6078/ipados

Education - K-12 - Apple Teacher - Apple
https://www.apple.com/education/k12/apple-teacher/

Education - K–12 - Learning from Home - Apple
https://www.apple.com/education/k12/learning-from-home

Enter text with Scribble on iPad - Apple Support
https://support.apple.com/guide/ipad/enter-text-with-scribble-ipad355ab2a7/ipados

Explore the World of AR: App Store Story
https://apps.apple.com/us/story/id1288297581

Hide ads and distractions in Safari on iPad - Apple Support
https://support.apple.com/guide/ipad/hide-ads-and-distractions-ipad0669fc3c/ipados

How to record the screen on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch - Apple Support
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207935

Learning Accessibility - iPad - Apple
https://www.apple.com/accessibility/ipad/learning/

Learning with iPad - Reaching All Learners (PDF)
https://education-static.apple.com/product/reaching-all-learners.pdf

Take a screenshot or screen recording on iPad - Apple Support
https://support.apple.com/guide/ipad/take-a-screenshot-or-screen-recording-ipad08a40f3b/ipados

Use Dictation on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch - Apple Support
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208343

LEARNING:

Add animated titles to a Clips video on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch - Apple Support
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207848

Apple Education Learning Series - Accessibility: Improve Reading Fluency
https://video.ibm.com/recorded/126367548

Apple Education Learning Series - Increase Productivity with AssistiveTouch
https://video.ibm.com/recorded/126608658

Augmented Reality - Apple
https://www.apple.com/augmented-reality/

Augmented Reality in Education - Lesson Ideas (PDF)
https://www.apple.com/education/docs/ar-in-edu-lesson-ideas.pdf

Browse the web using Safari on iPad - Apple Support
https://support.apple.com/guide/ipad/browse-the-web-ipad999d68f9/14.0/ipados/14.0

Clips on the App Store
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/clips/id1212699939

Create an EPUB book in Pages - Apple Support
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208499

Draw or write in Notes on iPad - Apple Support
https://support.apple.com/en-al/guide/ipad/ipada87a6078/ipados

Education - K-12 - Apple Teacher - Apple
https://www.apple.com/education/k12/apple-teacher/

Education - K–12 - Learning from Home - Apple
https://www.apple.com/education/k12/learning-from-home

Enter text with Scribble on iPad - Apple Support
https://support.apple.com/guide/ipad/enter-text-with-scribble-ipad355ab2a7/ipados

Explore the World of AR: App Store Story
https://apps.apple.com/us/story/id1288297581

Hide ads and distractions in Safari on iPad - Apple Support
https://support.apple.com/guide/ipad/hide-ads-and-distractions-ipad0669fc3c/ipados

How to record the screen on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch - Apple Support
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT207935

Learning Accessibility - iPad - Apple
https://www.apple.com/accessibility/ipad/learning/

Learning with iPad - Reaching All Learners (PDF)
https://education-static.apple.com/product/reaching-all-learners.pdf

Take a screenshot or screen recording on iPad - Apple Support
https://support.apple.com/guide/ipad/take-a-screenshot-or-screen-recording-ipad08a40f3b/ipados

Use Dictation on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch - Apple Support
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT208343

Use Reminders on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch - Apple Support
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205890

Use Reminders on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch - Apple Support
https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT205890

With the Reminders app on iOS 13 or later and iPadOS, you can create reminders with subtasks and attachments, and set alerts based on time and location. You can even assign a reminder to someone in a shared list.

11/04/2020
iPhones can now tell blind users where and how far away people are – TechCrunch

Blind and Low Vision friends and colleagues, check out this latest news about an accessible feature on iPhone: "iPhones can now tell blind users where and how far away people are." https://techcrunch.com/2020/10/30/iphones-can-now-tell-blind-users-where-and-how-far-away-people-are/?fbclid=IwAR2M_giVwKBxWKS7rkcWeyH5lx3A9CuvgLvdXKkdcOCS1XDhbw87UWb5jF4

Apple has packed an interesting new accessibility feature into the latest beta of iOS: a system that detects the presence of and distance to people in the view of the iPhone’s camera, so blind users can social distance effectively, among many other things. The feature emerged from Apple’…

10/08/2020

Great session with Philly MeetUp for the Blind/VI members last night. Miss everyone in person, of course, but at least we can chat and catch up on Zoom.(Two images taken by screenshot of the Zoom page - some people appeared by video, others by phone, some whose names are displayed and others on a separate phone link).

09/08/2020
COVID-19 is bringing about the end of touch as we know it, and touch has been my imperfect substitute for sight. - PublicSource | News for a better Pittsburgh

The era we are in from a Deaf-Blind author’s perspective!

Dr. Anthony Fauci suggests that COVID-19 may end the era of the handshake. Others predict that the world of touch outside intimate loved ones is over. Should this come to pass, I will adapt. But as someone totally blind for the past 50 years and moderately deaf, I am already grieving the hugs and ha...

07/26/2020

On this, the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) instead of a cursory mention I think this blog by friend and colleague, Ather Sharif is what everyone should read. A personal reflection of what it really stands for:

07/23/2020

URGENT: Philadelphia friends and colleagues: Can anyone help? It has come to our attention that a blind and disabled friend, part of our social group, has a dire living situation (basement apartment with mold, mice, and broken a/c) and is in desperate need of rehousing asap. He is a refugee from Eritrea and can pay up to $500 per month for somewhere safe and clean. He also has an attendant that helps him for 8 hrs per day. I can vouch for him as a sweet and patient man, who is here for surgery and on a wait list for a hand transplant at HUP. If anyone can help please message me.

07/22/2020
Ali Stroker and Maysoon Zayid Headline ADA 30th Anniversary Celebration

Ali Stroker and Maysoon Zayid Headline ADA 30th Anniversary Celebration

As the nation ramps up to the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA30) on July 26, the 50-member ADA Lead On 'Core Production Team' and 22 ADA Generation bloggers, influencers and signal boosters are focused and determined to flip the script on educating, entertaining and empo...

07/21/2020
Tactile Studio | Webinar: How museums can still be inclusive after Covid-19?

TOMORROW: Webinar: How museums can still be inclusive after Covid-19?
https://tactilestudio.co/en/webinar-how-museums-can-still-be-inclusive-after-covid-19/

INTERACTIVITY - MUSÉE - R&D Jul 12, 2020 Webinar: How museums can still be inclusive after Covid-19? As advocates for an inclusive design, we are committed to keeping tactile as a means of effective communication and as tools of civil rights to access in museums as a sensory experience. In our work...

07/08/2020
Museums Social Distancing Blind People 14536 PM

Museums Social Distancing Blind People 14536 PM

This is "Museums Social Distancing Blind People 14536 PM" by John S Olson on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them.

07/07/2020
Reimagining the Extraordinary in Everyday Objects Through Touch — Disability Pride Philadelphia Inc.

It's Disability Pride Month, PA (Virtual this year) Join Philly Touch Tours for an interactive webinar on Wednesday, July 15th from 1:00pm - 3:00pm.
Topic: REIMAGINING THE EXTRAORDINARY IN EVERYDAY OBJECTS THROUGH TOUCH
Details: In this difficult, touch hungry moment we can take the time to find comfort in the things we surround ourselves with. Join us in an interactive conversation and find a sense of well-being that lies right at your fingertips. Please prepare for this workshop by gathering three of your favorite objects—a coffee mug, a soft throw, a piece of memorabilia or anything that feels meaningful.
Go to this link to register:
https://www.disabilitypridephiladelphia.org/disability-pride-virtual-pa-calendar/philly-touch-tours

Register in advance for this webinar: Click to register After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. In this difficult, touch hungry moment we can take the time to find comfort in the things we surround ourselves with. Join us

06/05/2020

Dear friends and colleagues,

We are thinking about you during these difficult and volatile times. It is certainly high time that Social Justice was addressed and we endorse the peaceful protests and demand for equality.

Black Lives Matter!

It is also challenging that this pivotal time for civil rights coincides with the presence of Covid-19. If you are out there demonstrating, more power to you but please use caution and smart thinking to stay as safe as you can. There is much to also do online by supporting both local and national organizations. This is also a time when one's anxieties can be triggered more easily so please, take a moment to take stock of your emotions and reactions by using self-regulating and mindfulness techniques.

Take good care, stay safe, stay strong and hope to see you all in person again soon.

Address

7 S. Columbus Boulevard, Suite7B
Philadelphia, PA
19106

Opening Hours

Monday 9am - 5pm
Tuesday 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 5pm
Friday 9am - 5pm
Saturday 9am - 5pm
Sunday 9am - 5pm

Telephone

+16097608223

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Nice night out with the team at Spruce Street Harbor Park. David W Wannop, Charlotte, Trish Maunder, Katherine L Allen, Ryan Stevens, Katie Maunder, Denice Brown and Linda Orofsky taking a chill pill in the easy chairs next to Franklin Fountain.
Have you done a Touch Tour of Longwood gardens? My blind mother coming into Philly for Thanksgiving. Might there be any programming for Friday, the day after Thanksgiving? Any "do it yourself" materials that could be shared with me?
We had a fantastic tour of the Wharton Esherick museum today! Beautiful place - fascinating buildings, artwork and stories of gifted local artist/craftsman - tucked away in a gorgeous setting. Trish, Catherine, Laura, and Julie provided informative, hands-on perspective and tour. We'll be back for more! Thank you! 😎😁
I found it!