ATHENS, June 11 (Xinhua) -- The Museum of Cycladic Art in Greece launched an innovative program to enhance the access and inclusion of individuals with sensory impairments, according to an e-mailed press release on Friday.
Under the permanent program "In Touch," people with visual and hearing impairments are now able to become familiar with the museum's permanent collection, including one of the most complete worldwide private collections of the art of the Cycladic culture that flourished in the central Aegean Sea during the Early Bronze Age (3rd millennium B.C.).
For the purpose of the program, visitors with sensory disabilities will be given guided tours with the support of a special made mobile showcase. The showcase includes a floor plan of the room, tactile maps of Greece and the Cyclades and copies of exhibits made of marble or resin.
The supplementary multisensory museum kit contains descriptive texts available in Braille writing (for the blind), in large print (for those with visual impairments) and an audio tour, all in Greek and English.
"Nowadays a museum and a cultural organization in general are no longer judged only by the exhibitions or the artistic program, or any other events, they are judged by how they understand and address issues of our times such as accessibility of all social groups, inclusion, education and entertainment," Nikolaos Kaltsas, scientific director at the museum, told a press conference on Thursday.
"I feel very happy that this whole program was designed and implemented for us, for people with disabilities, and it was not just a small intervention, an adjustment," said Julianna Boussi, a visually impaired teacher.
"The truth is that since I was a pupil, I did not like museums at all ... We would pass by showcases, and they would tell us 'do not touch.' We had no idea what was behind the showcases," Boussi said. ■