1. If you can hear tape recorders/CD/MP3 players it might be worth trying one of the museums taped guides with the museum’s headphones. Or it might be useful to try their device with a neck loop.
2. If you have a good quality portable tape recorder the museum might let you use their tape in your own system though you might have a better chance of doing this if you make the arrangements before your visit.
3. You might wish to try to understand the (live) museum guide, but they may be very hard to follow because they are too far away, speak too softly and fast, or there are echoes and too much background noise. If you cannot follow the guide you might prefer to buy/borrow a printed museum guide and be self-sufficient.
4. If I know in advance that I will be going on a guided tour, I ask if it’s possible to have a transcript of the guide’s talk. Some museums are very helpful, and others not, but there’s no harm in asking.
5. I always avoid going on guided tours as I know I won’t be able to follow. I still enjoy my visits to museums/galleries and looking at the exhibits. Some museums and art galleries have printed information sheets in each area/room which I find very useful.
6. If I’m with friends who want to go on the guided tour, which I know I can’t follow, I find out when and where the tour is likely to finish and meet my friends there and browse around the rooms by myself. It actually suits me better as I just like to look at things rather than learn everything about them.
7. I’ve found that some museums and art galleries which have videos for the public to watch as they go round are now supplying subtitled videos, but it varies greatly between different museums and galleries.
8. I’ve discovered that some places have lipspeaker-guided tours, which I have found very helpful.
9. One of our local Museums sometimes has captioned tours or talks. I am on their mailing list to know when these talks take place.