Department of Art and Art History Calendar

Art Education Lecture Series presents Rebecca McGinnis and Amanda Allison

Topic: Accessibility for Art Education


Rebecca McGinnis is the Museum Educator overseeing Access and Community Programs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. She and her colleagues are recognized internationally for their pioneering programs for museum visitors with disabilities. In 2011, she received the John F. Kennedy for the Performing Arts Award for Excellence in Accessibility Leadership and the American Council of the Blind’s Achievement Award in Audio Description for Museums. Her publications include Art and the Alphabet: A Tactile Experience (with Ileana Sanchez) (2003/2009), an innovative children's book combining braille, tactile pictures, and images of works of art from the Metropolitan Museum. Rebecca McGinnis co-convenes with Art Education for the Blind, and hosts at the Metropolitan Museum, the bi-annual international Art Beyond Sight conferences on multimodal learning (2005, 2007, 2009, and 2012). She is an adjunct professor in the Museum Studies Program at Johns Hopkins University, teaching a course on museum accessibility. She is co-chair of the New York Museum Access Consortium and Chair of the Board of City Access New York (CANY). Her international experience includes directing access audits and training for over fifty museums in the United Kingdom and in the United States, and major collaborations with the British Museum and National Portrait Gallery in London. Rebecca McGinnis earlier served as the Assistant Arts Officer at the Royal National Institute for the Blind, and as an educator at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Amanda Allison is Coordinator of the Art Education Program at Texas Christian University. She has vast experience instructing art in a variety of settings and to a wide array of populations, including public and private schools, universities, museums, centers for adults with disabilities, community centers, and hospitals. One of her primary research interests and areas of academic work rests within supporting EC-12 art teachers as they instruct students with developmental disabilities. Dr. Allison teaches a range of classes at TCU focused on art in therapeutic environments and teaching art in classroom settings to students with identified disabilities. In an effort to equip art education majors with the resources and connections they need to succeed as art teachers, Dr. Allison works closely with area teachers and school districts, community arts organizations, and various departments and schools within the TCU community.  Dr. Allison received a BA in Art Education from Louisiana State University, an MA in Art from Northwestern State University, and a PhD in Art Education from the University of North Texas. She also holds a museum education certificate from the University of North Texas. Dr. Allison is a member of the Special Needs Interest Group of the National Art Education Association, a group devoted to advancing knowledge about how art can empower students with disabilities. She is a contributing author to McGraw Hill’s Art Connections and Theatre Arts Connections textbooks.