NORFOLK, Neb. -- A museum in northeast Nebraska is featuring a new exhibit that focuses on disability history.

The Elkhorn Valley Museum in Norfolk is hosting an exhibit called “American Dream: The ADA & Nebraska.”

The exhibit is part of the community-wide Big Read event that is promoting disability inclusion in the area.

“I really think it’s going to start a lot of conversations for people about what does it mean to have a disability, what does it mean when we say we are inclusive and accessible?” said Libby McKay, the executive director of the EVM. “At the museum, we had started a conversation, and as I said before, a focus for me this year is on all the various levels of accessibility at a museum.”

The exhibit features a timeline of events that highlight different moments in disability history.

It also features different texts and images from historical events.

McKay told News Channel Nebraska that one part of the exhibit highlights actions taken by parents living in Norfolk.

“There’s another piece of that puzzle that has to do directly with Norfolk and that is what was the Norfolk Opportunity Center,” she said. “It was a group of parents, the school system wasn’t able to meet the needs of their kids and so they started the opportunity center here in Norfolk and it’s an amazing story about what those families were able to accomplish.”

EVM also added a sharing wall that lets community members contribute artwork to share their experiences with disabilities.

The wall currently displays different pictures drawn by children, works of art, and a piece of scripture translated into Braille.

McKay said the exhibit is one that may appear different to museum-goers compared to previous exhibits.

“I think there are parts of it that are going to make people go wow, history really is cyclical and I think there are parts of it that are inspirational,” she said. “Nebraska was the leader in many of the movements like deinstitutionalization and there were people and entities from across the country that looked at Nebraska and asked what did you and how did you do it?” 

Admission is free to the museum until the exhibit ends on May 12 due to grant funding through Northeast Community College.

Beginning in June, the museum will host a new exhibit on the history of the Norfolk Junior High building.