National Museums Northern Ireland to prioritise access as sites reopen - Museums Association

National Museums Northern Ireland to prioritise access as sites reopen

Dedicated booking slots are available for groups including older people and those with sight or hearing loss
Jonathan Knott
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Director Kathryn Thomson with staff ahead of the opening of Ulster Museum
Director Kathryn Thomson with staff ahead of the opening of Ulster Museum
National Museums Northern Ireland (NMNI) says it will focus on ensuring access for the communities most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic as it begins to reopen its sites.
Ulster Museum began to welcome visitors back on 30 July. Ulster Folk Museum and Ulster American Folk Park will reopen on 13 August, followed by Ulster Transport Museum on 20 August. To coincide with this, the museum service has announced its new Access for All strategy, which will involve working with audiences to develop effective ways to engage them.
The museum said the strategy is intended to support communities “who have felt the effects of isolation during the coronavirus pandemic more deeply than others”.
NMNI says dedicated booking slots will be available for communities including older people and those with hearing loss or sight loss. Families and adults with special educational needs and people with social prescriptions will also be able to use these slots.
The strategy is being implemented in partnership with organisations including Age NI, Autism NI, the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and Spring Social Prescribing.
NMNI said it is currently exploring ways to engage communities through initiatives such as facilitated workshops, remote sessions for those unable to attend in person, and opportunities for safe tactile engagement for audiences with sensory needs.
The museum service’s director Kathryn Thomson said: “To assure inclusion of all communities when reopening we have actioned our Access for All strategy. We are delighted to be working in partnership with several organisations representing communities more acutely affected by the impact of isolation, to design accessible, welcoming, safe experiences and spaces for all.” Ulster Museum has been awarded the We’re Good to Go mark, a UK-wide industry standard which indicates that tourism and hospitality businesses have adopted appropriate processes and health and safety measures.

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