Foundation Cultural Heritage without Borders (CHwB) and Balkan Museum Network (BMN) organized a conference on 28th and 29th October 2014 in Sarajevo that was attended by more than 50 museum professionals, disabled people and NGOs representatives from the Western Balkans.
At the conference titled Balkan Museums without Barriers: Continuing to develop disabled people’s access to museums and heritage in the Western Balkans were presented results of six years long projects implemented by museum in the region supported by CHwB, BMN and funded by the Foundation Stavros Niarchos. Museums in the region implemented around 30 projects in order to increase the accessibility of their premises and activities to disabled people.
During two-day conference, members of the Balkan Museum Access Group that is consisted of museum experts trained on the accessibility in museums, held different lectures to the conference participants on accessible work of musems to disabled people. Participants also had an opportunity to exchange ideas and experience on how disabled people can become audience, partners and museum employees.
„The conference was so inspiring: museums professionals and disabled people together spoke about ensuring that disabled people have access to museums, and planned practical strategies for implementing change. It was so exciting to see people working in Balkan Museums building a positive culture around inclusion”, said Michele Taylor, CHwB consultant.
Museums in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia through different projects succeeded in increasing its accessibility towards some categories of disabled people.
In order to increase the accessibility of their activities and work to the disabled people, museums have made replicas of museums items, tactile images, as well as dummies of the well-known medieval buildings. Museums have also built a ramp at the entrance and elevators, made audio guides and 3D models, organized creative workshops for youth and etc.