The Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports (Spain) has reached an agreement with the Orange Foundation and GVAM to develop a mobile application (app) with different routes for each of the following museums: National Museum and Research Center of Altamira, the Museum of Roman Art in Merida, Valladolid’s Sculpture Museum and the Sephardic Museum.
The agreement is part of the Áppside project, an initiative by the Orange Foundation and GVAM to facilitate access to Spanish culture and heritage to all its visitors. To this end, the four apps include all the necessary resources to ensure people with visual or hearing disabilities can enjoy the visit on equal terms to other visitors. In this sense, audiovisual resources will be audio-described, subtitled, translated and interpreted into Spanish Sign Language. For the latter, the project will rely on the support of the CNSE Foundation (National Confederation of Deaf People).
As expressed in the agreement, this firm reflects the interest of the Ministry to “encourage the use of new information and communications technology (ICT) in state museums to improve accessibility for people to culture”. The four apps are free and can be downloaded on iOS and Android mobile phones. In addition, the four participating museums are committed to offering five loan tablets for people with disabilities upon request.
The apps will be aimed at all audiences, with various options or tours segmented by age, time of visit, theme, etc. They shall also include tools to facilitate location within the museum. The four museums, along with GVAM, have already started working on its main features.
This initiative follows previous collaborations between the Ministry and the Orange Foundation, and recent experiences in the development of technology to facilitate visits to all audiences, like the National Archaeological Museum.
Museums+ Social Plan
Aimed at promoting greater social awareness of these institutions, this MECD plan aims to integrate and improve accessibility in museums for citizens with special needs. Among other initiatives, it seeks to provide basic services to these audiences to ensure their access to content.
The 22 museums of the Ministry of Culture Secretariat are included in the plan, although other museums may join in an effort to foster a network of socially responsible institutions involved in the development of a more open and inclusive culture and society.