Museum Accessibility

The application of the “Right to culture” defined by the UN Convention in 2006 introduces the concept of cultural accessibility that considers as a whole technologies, strategies and tools that can facilitate people  with difficulties in approaching products, premises or cultural services, allowing them the approach in their original condition. This process takes shape by identifying and removing the obstacles of the physical, sensory and intellective barriers that can restrict the full participation of the person with disability to cultural life.

Italian museology has been scarcely dealing with the theme of intellective barriers so far: recently a new stronger sensibility about the special needs of people with intellective disabilities was affirmed.

According to the decree of Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage “Livelli uniformi di qualità per i musei” (Equal quality levels in museums) (2018), the national museums have been committed to create the best conditions to let this public comprehend and join the heritage, affirming this way the right to culture.

These aims can be reached through the creation of simplified and more restrained guided tours that can meet the attentive capacity of the visitor with intellective disability. Therefore, it is essential to identify the “enablers”, that is the tools that can enhance the comprehension of cultural spaces and contents.

Museo per tutti assists the museums in:

  • applying and adapting the provided tools to the collections
  • using the most efficient strategies against the main difficulties of intellective disability concerning the intellective functions and adaptive behaviours.

In order to help the visitors join the museum experience, it is necessary to overcome his communication and comprehension difficulties towards the texts they are going to use by means of a simplified language, the easy-to-read one. Against the limits of writing and spoken language, there is the possibility of improving the visual channel using pictures and symbols, like those of the Alternative Augmented Communication that let the visitor achieve information.

The use of visual channel is useful also for orienting inside museums and sensory maps can provide independence and awareness during the visit. The use of Social Narratives and/or Social Guides is effective to make clear the social rules the visitors are called to respect in order to settle a suitable behaviour for the context.


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