Search Museum Next


Rebecca McGinnis

Rebecca McGinnis

Mary Jaharis Senior Managing Educator, Accessibility
The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Rebecca McGinnis is the Mary Jaharis Senior Managing Educator, Accessibility at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. She and her colleagues are internationally recognized for their pioneering programs for disabled people. Current work includes Crip The Met, an initiative fostering the inclusion of disability narratives in museum interpretation that aims to redress deficits and implicit biases in the representation of disability in the collection.

Rebecca’s publications include “Who Does Inclusion Exclude?: Disability and the Limitations of Models of Inclusion” in What We May Be: Art Museums and the Implications of Special Programs (The Clark Art Institute, 2019) and “Islands of Stimulation: Perspectives on the Museum Experience, Present and Future” in The Multisensory Museum: Cross-Disciplinary Perspectives on Touch, Sound, Smell, Memory, and Space (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014).

Rebecca co-convened with Art Beyond Sight the Multimodal Approaches to Learning conference (2005, 2007, 2009, 2012) and was a founding member and co-chair of the Museum Access Consortium (2000-2012). She teaches Accessibility in the Museum in Johns Hopkins University’s Museum Studies MA program. She holds MAs in Art History from the Institute of Fine Arts, NYU and in Museum Studies from Leicester University (UK) and has completed doctoral work in Cognitive Psychology at Teachers College Columbia University.

MuseumNext Creative Museums Summit
Monday, 27th June 2022

From Curative to Creative

Museum programs for disabled people are commonly viewed through a therapeutic lens, a perspective rooted in the medical model of disability emphasising the curative aspects of skill-building and socialisation. However, The Met’s approach centres on creativity. While developing skills and connecting with others are important programmatic goals, we design experiences to foster individual creative expression, not to “correct” disability. This philosophy subverts the typical expectations that non-disabled people have about how people with disabilities can and want to engage with art in museums, and values the experience of disability as a generative force rather than as a hindrance to creativity.

Full Schedule Here

Rebecca McGinnis