In the autumn of 2021, the team of the Odesa Fine Arts Museum with the support of the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation implemented the project Accessible Museum by Hearing and Touching. This project aims to make the exhibition space and educational programs of the Odesa Fine Arts Museum accessible to people with visual and hearing impairments, as well as to adapt existing and create new online and offline content that will allow them to learn about the history of art, museums and the city in a convenient and accessible way. In addition, an important part of the project is the training of the Odesa Fine Arts Museum team to provide sightseeing services for people with visual and hearing impairments.
Accordingly, our project is divided into three major parts:
– for people with visual impairments;
– for people with hearing impairments;
– for museum workers.
Below we talk about each component in more detail.
For people with visual impairments
The project produced tactile 3D copies of five sculptures, typographic images of four paintings from the museum’s collection, as well as navigation through the museum’s halls and information boards in Braille. All these materials were implemented in the exhibition space of the Odesa Fine Arts Museum and the first tour groups of blind visitors have already had the opportunity to touch new objects and feel the art to the touch.
In addition, as part of our project to include up to six works from the main exhibition of the Odesa Fine Arts Museum, an audio guide with typhlocommentaries was created, in which the image is described as much detail as possible – for the needs of the visually impaired. You can listen to it by following the link below on our page on Soundcloud, as well as with the help of QR codes, which are placed next to the corresponding paintings in the museum space.
For people with hearing impairments
Since most people with hearing impairments cannot read, we have also created video explanations of up to eight paintings from the museum’s exhibition in sign language as part of the “Accessible Museum by Hearing and Touch” project. You can see this by following the links below on our YouTube channel, as well as by using QR codes, which are placed next to the corresponding paintings in the museum space.
For museum workers
As part of the project, the entire team of the Odesa Fine Arts Museum underwent relevant training – we learned to interact with people with visual and hearing impairments. From now on, our guides are ready to receive groups of such visitors in the museum.