The ‘History in Pictures in Sign Language’ project was implemented with the aim to increase the accessibility of cultural institutions. The project was supported within the ‘Novi Sad 2021’ Foundation call and implemented by the Archives of Vojvodina in cooperation with the Association of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing of Vojvodina. The three-month training of the sign language for employees in cultural institutions will provide accessibility in communication with the deaf and hard of hearing.
Six projects of cultural institutions were launched last year within the ‘Accessibility’ public call, with the focus on ‘accessibility’ and with the total amount of 4,373,500 RSD.
The ‘History in Pictures in Sign Language’ project will also allow people with some degree of hearing impairment to access the contents of the Archives and research hall, and allow the access to all the exhibitions organised by the Archives. In this manner, people with hearing impairments will be actively involved in social events in the field of culture.
Five more projects within the ‘Accessibility’ public call
Two performances implemented within the ‘Art and Inclusion’ project emerged from the workshops of inclusive character. The project was supported by the Gallery of Matica Srpska and the Per.Art Association. The ‘Mala Žurka Propuštenog Plesa’ is defined as a hybrid public event in which everyone participates: both the audience and performers, people with disabilities and those without disabilities. The next performance will be on 22 March in the Novi Sad Theatre, while the ‘Dis_Sylphide’ performance, focusing on the people with disabilities in dance, will be held on 25 and 26 March in the ‘Laza Kostić’ Grammar School.
The importance of improving the accessibility of information was recognised by the Cultural Centre Rumenka, which, in cooperation with the ‘Veternik’ Centre for children and the youth with disabilities, began the creation of an accessible website. The Gallery of Fine Arts – Gift Collection of Rajko Mamuzić also wants to encourage changes by allowing more users with some kind of impairment to be informed about upcoming cultural events within the ‘Creating an Accessible Website’ project.
Within the same public call, the ‘Mladost’ Cultural Centre in Futog, in cooperation with the Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired of Vojvodina, implements the ‘Voice Painting’ project, with the goal to make works of contemporary domestic writers accessible to blind and visually impaired persons. In this manner, the quality of life of people with visual impairment will be improved. According to the data of the Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired of Vojvodina, there are 3,500 blind or visually impaired people in our province.
Synergy work in the institutions is the most visible through the ‘Museum for All’ project, where the Pavle Beljanski Memorial Collection, the Museum of Vojvodina, the Gallery of Matica Srpska, the Association of Interpreters and Translators for the Sign Language and the Association of Deaf and Hard of Hearing of Vojvodina have united. Creating a multimedia application with information on a permanent exhibition, simultaneous interpretation of professional guidance in the museum, implementation of creative programmes, printing of the colouring book with a sign language motifs are the activities that will be carried out in this specific unification of museums, which is a step forward in the content of museum institutions, and improved conditions for the social life of deaf and hard-of-hearing fellow citizens.
One of the biggest problems encountered by the deaf and hard of hearing, blind and visually impaired are the communication barriers they encounter every day in their community. Inability to inform, acquire knowledge and skills, as well as active involvement lead to their marginalisation, exclusion and degradation of the quality of life.
Within the open call for accessibility, the ‘Novi Sad 2021’ Foundation allows everyone to have the same opportunity to be informed and that this option is a right, not a privilege.