The practice implemented products accessible by new technologies for the Samnite Museum of Campobasso, to facilitate the visit to deaf, blind, and children.
Accessibility to places of culture is guaranteed to all by various international recommendations (UNESCO, ICOM, Council of Europe) and by the Italian Constitution. However, there are several barriers for some types of public, in particular the disabled and children. By the collaboration of various disciplines (museology, sociology, communication, ICT, art), products have been created that allow easier cognitive accessibility. For now, products have been made for the Samnite Museum of Campobasso, to facilitate the visit to: deaf, blind, and children. The products are fully integrated into the normal visit path, so that: 1) they can be used by everyone, even by able-bodied or adult public; 2) that the categories of disabled public do not feel ghettoized in exclusive paths for them. A part concerning the 3D survey of the works in the museum was also implemented, in order to have a 3D database for study, protection and enhancement use. Virtual tours of 5 state museums in Molise were produced, accessible in the museums themselves and in a period of pandemic emergency through internet.
This will be implemented with the identification of other disabilities that have difficulties with cognitive access in museums and in the planning of products adapted to their needs.
The stakeholders are: Regional Direction Museums Molise as creator and coordinator, the University of Molise for product development and the various associations of disabled people for product improvement.
The funding came from the Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities (now the Ministry of Culture). The Regional Direction Museums Molise is a branch office, through a specific law for the removal of accessibility barriers amounted to 200,000 euros in 2016.
Evidence of success
The practice is considered good for the innovativeness of the idea in the museum environment, especially for the use of new technologies and the practice of verifying the effectiveness of the product with the various associations of disabled people, as well as test with school classes. The success was measured with the closure of the museums in the Covid19 emergency, for which the virtual visits tool was ready without having to rush them for the emergency.
The main difficulty is an adequate constant advertising of the product, due to the lack of communicators within the Regional Museum of Molise.
Potential for learning or transfer
The practice is replicable because it is based on simple principles: multidisciplinary, new technologies, compliance with the UNESCO and ICOM recommendations on the right for all to have access to culture. This will be achievied by adapting the good practice implemented at the Samnite Museum in Campobasso to the different types of museum collections. This could be the reason for a specific funding from the Directorate General for Museums of the Ministry of Culture
It is an open practice that permits implementations of the number of products, or enrichments and updates of the contents. For virtual tours, being a product managed by those who manage museums, there is the certainty that these do not replace physical visits, but serve as an incentive to do them.