Museums reach out to people with learning disabilities

museums-reach-out-to-people-with-learning-disabilitiesMuseums and cultural organisations should improve access for people with learning disabilities.

Access to the arts, galleries and museums for people with learning disabilities should be improved, according to a new report.

The research, conducted by Lemos&Crane, surveyed 81 arts organisations, museums and galleries across London and found that 46 per cent of mainstream (non-disability specialist) respondents didn’t offer any activity for people with a learning disability.

The report said: “Very few mainstream organisations had an embedded, publicised, ongoing stream for people with learning disabilities or had facilities for those with learning disabilities to access public events.

“Many organisations seem to be doing little or nothing. The general landscape of provision is patchy and halting.”

What’s more, the survey also revealed that cultural organisations found it difficult to reach people outside of the education system, resulting in those with learning disabilities being particularly underserved.

Despite this, the survey did report some areas of excellence in specific organisations, but museums and galleries are urged to do more to improve access and engagement in learning disability sectors.

Alistair Brown, policy officer at the Museums Association, said that organisations that want to get involved in the project should create a short case study outlining:

  • A description of project objectives
  • How the project has been promoted
  • How the project has been funded
  • How the organisation has worked with stakeholders
  • Outcomes and evaluation

One idea that arts and cultural organisations could employ is the use of assistive technologies that work to educate youngsters with learning disabilities through a series of digital software tools.

(Credit image: Thinkstock/megainarmy)

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