RNIB scheme to make museums more accessible - Museums Association

RNIB scheme to make museums more accessible

Museums take part in programme to help those with sight loss
Patrick Steel
The Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is partnering with five museum services in south east England to launch a “buddy” scheme designed to make museums more accessible for people with sight loss.

Under the Heritage Buddy Scheme, volunteers will help blind and partially-sighted visitors with their visit, providing them with tailored information and support.

The participating museum services are Oxford University Museums, Canterbury Museums and Galleries (with Canterbury Library and Canterbury Cathedral), Lewes Castle in Sussex (part of the Sussex Archaeological Society), the Conan Doyle Collection in Portsmouth (part of Portsmouth Council and Libraries), and the Royal Pavilion and Museums in Brighton and Hove.

Lindsey Holmes, the RNIB’s project manager for sensing culture, said: “The Heritage Buddy Scheme aims to open up museums to people with sight loss who may be apprehensive about visiting. Blind and partially-sighted people tell us they want the opportunity to experience culture just like anyone else.

“We have a brilliant group of buddies who are raring to go and be trained in the New Year. Buddies will share their knowledge about the museum or heritage site, provide support, and hopefully make friends along the way.”

The scheme is part of the Sensing Culture partnership, which is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund with a grant of £438,900 over three years.

Training for the scheme’s volunteers starts in January 2017.

The RNIB is appealing for more volunteers to take part. If you are interested please email: lindsey.holmes@rnib.org.uk

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