Blind finally gain access to museum

Following up on an earlier initiative to improve its accessibility for individuals with special needs, the Byzantine and Christian Museum has just taken another commendable step aimed at making it a more fulfilling experience for the blind. Earlier this week, the museum launched an exhibition comprising 10 items that can be touched by blind visitors. The Byzantine and Christian Museum stands as the country’s only museum to have upgraded its accessibility for persons with special needs. This latest move comes as part of a wider initiative titled «Museums For All,» a program that was launched in 2004 within the framework of the European Union’s Culture 2000 project ACCU: Access to Cultural Heritage. Agencies from five EU countries – Finland, Norway, the UK, Romania, and Greece – are taking part. The ACCU program focuses on the needs of individuals barred from taking part in activity at museums and other cultural institutes because of inappropriate design or layout. The makers of «Open Doors» – a DVD on the initiative that was presented at the Byzantine and Christian Museum on Wednesday, the opening day of the exhibition for the blind – hope their film will act as a constructive guide for museum directors. The museum will host an international conference titled «Cultural Heritage for All: Removing Barriers, Creating Experiences» on Thursday and Friday.

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