Bridging the Gap between Museums and Individuals with Visual impairments

“Bridging the Gap between Museums and Individuals with Visual Impairments” (BaGMIVI) is a European project co-funded through the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union, from September 2014 to August 2017.

BaGMIVI aims to shape and promote strategic partnerships between museums and schools (mainstream or/and special schools of the blind) within which Vvisually-impaired (VI) students are enrolled. The main objectives are:

  1. to enable the museum members become aware and update their knowledge regarding the barriers that impede the access of visitors with visual impairments to museums,
  2. to create learning, cultural and social opportunities for individuals with visual impairments,
  3. to promote the collaboration between museums, schools and associations of individuals with visual impairments,
  4. to point out the best practices and guidelines for the development of an accessible and inclusive museum for visitors with visual impairments.

Twelve formal and four silent partners – universities, museums, associations for the blind, NGOs and educational settings - constitute the consortium of this project.  The coordinator of the project is University of Thessaly in Greece. All partners collaborate to shape a networking with activities at many levels: preliminary, vertical and horizontal.

The expected results ("intellectual" or events) of the overall project are the following:

  1. A needs assessment study regarding the level of access and inclusion of individuals with visual impairments to the museums. The needs assessment study is completed and it was based on a literature review and on a research in order to investigate the level of access and inclusion of individuals with visual impairments to the museums (Intellectual Output O1).
  2. A joint syllabus for the training of the museum staff which was based on the needs assessment study is also completed. The joint syllabus was developed for the training of the staff from the participating museums but it may be used in the future by other museums (Intellectual Output O2).
  3. The BaGMIVI portal is also constructed and includes three distinct sections: public dissemination, private collaboration, and e-learning module.
  4. Training courses for the staff of the participating museums in the BaGMIVI project have been also completed. These training events were very important for the participating museums and galleries in order to develop differentiated and accessible museum programmes (Intellectual Output O4).
  5. Differentiated and accessible material of all participating museums was produced and video-recorded in order to enhance the access and inclusion of individuals with visual impairments during their museum visits. The organization of museum visits with corresponding museum educational programmes adapted for individuals with visual impairments is in progress (Intellectual Output O5).
  6. A guide with the best practices regarding ways of differentiated museum content. It is expected to produce a best practices guide which will include an analysis of the data gathered through visitors' and museum staff's reflective logs (Intellectual Output O7).

The BaGMIVI project is complimentary to other European projects already carried out which either focus on accessibility and equal opportunities for people with visual or other disabilities and on the role of museums for the society and it fully supports the social agenda of the European Union on non-discrimination of individuals with visual impairments. It is expected that the above results will have an impact at personal, education, museum and societal level and will contribute to the inclusive character of museums and to equal educational, cultural and social opportunities for all people including those with visual impairments.

As a full partner, EBU will disseminate the project's progress and outcomes, comment on the accessibility of the project's website and participate in the final conference.

For more information, latest updates and access to intellectual outputs of the BaGMIVI project, please consult the project website.