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COME-IN! – Cooperating for Open access to Museums – towards a widEr Inclusion

Many museums in central Europe face challenges in adapting their infrastructure and exhibitions according to the “for all”-concept, which aims to allow equal access also to cultural sites for a variety of persons with their diverse needs concerning the built environment. Reasons for this situation can be found in a lack of experiences and organisational knowledge and limited financial resources, both for investments and a targeted promotion. Against this background the EU-project Cooperating for open access to museums towards a wider inclusion (COME-IN!) tackles this in order to increase the capacities of small- and medium-sized museums by opening them to different user groups with diverse needs in terms of accessibility and experiencing culture. The project with a total budget of 2,72 million Euros is funded by the Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE Programme and implemented from the 1st July 2016 until the 30th June 2019.

The COME-IN!-approach is based on a multi-faceted network of museums, associations and interest groups of people with a disability, academic representatives, training institutions and policy makers. This consortium will jointly define an innovative strategic approach to promote “museums for all”, their attractiveness and perception in the public. Transnationally applicable solutions will be discussed and established and a structured know-how transfer will be organised. The COME-IN! guidelines for creating accessible collections and exhibitions and a training handbook for museum operators will be elaborated and tested by the project network. Pilot actions and training to operators will be performed and the results of these actions will be analysed by a monitoring of user satisfaction and visitor numbers.

Based on the gained experience a COME-IN!-label for awarding museums complying with the defined accessibility criteria will be developed as an innovative promotional tool. It will be presented to the public by the project network and disseminated from the local to the European level as a quality feature of “museums for all”.

Role of the Transport and Spatial Planning Institute

The institute can bring in its scientific and academic background and practical experiences in the field of accessibility and design for all, in particular in the context of assessing and creating accessible cultural sites.

Knowledge and experiences can be shared in order to get different new views on the issue from the international perspective of a transnational European collaboration project. The participation serves to disseminate important findings on the project subject on an international level and it will enhance the own activities in order to foster the attractiveness of cultural sites at regional level.

As project partner the institute applies its scientific and practical knowledge concerning the consideration of the needs of disabled, elderly etc. persons in the creation of an inclusive society and an accessible built environment, cultural sites, public spaces and buildings for all potential users. The process and outcomes will be critically monitored over the project lifetime and for all WPs.

WP T1: As member of Working Group 2 the institute contributes to the assessment of the current state of accessibility of the museums in the project network, to the development of concrete options to enhance the situation and to general and transferable solution to improve the experience of cultural sites for all (COME-IN!-guidelines).

WP T2: The museums of the project network are supported in developing work plans to implement their pilot actions with measures to enhance accessibility. The institute monitors these activities and synthesizes the experiences of testing the COME-IN!-approach in an evaluation report.

WP T3: The institute contributes to the development of the COME-IN!-label and the elaboration of the awarding criteria and regulations

WP C: As part of the public relation activities and to promote knowledge exchange two thematic conferences with experts on different aspects of the project and further relevant stakeholders are organised. Furthermore, the visibility of the project and its results will be supported by publications.

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