More about COME-IN! project

More about COME-IN!

The COME-IN! (Cooperating for Open access to Museums – towards a widEr INclusion) project is funded under the Interreg CENTRAL EUROPE Programme and aims at valorizing the CENTRAL EUROPE cultural heritage by increasing the capacities of small and medium size museums, making them accessible to a wider public. COME-IN! will coordinate a multi-faceted network of museums, disability associations, academic representatives, training institutions and policy makers, that will jointly define an innovative strategic approach on how to promote the accessibility to museums - in order to make them more attractive for the public.

The COME-IN! Project will improve partners’ capacities to make Central Europe cultural heritage accessible for All. Indeed, the valorization of the Central Europe cultural heritage through an improved accessibility will contribute to the sustainable long term socio-economic development of the area. The project focuses on “cultural sites” of any kind, with particular attention to small and medium size museums, for people with permanent and transient disabilities.

Transnational high-level standards will be discussed and established and know-how transfer structured. The COME-IN! guidelines for organising an accessible collection/exhibition and the training handbook for museum operators will be elaborated and tested along its network. Pilot actions and training to operators will be performed and their results in terms of increased visibility studied. Based on the gained experience, an innovative promotional tool, the COME-IN! label for awarding museums complying with its accessibility standards, will be developed and initially conferred to the museums of the network. The COME-IN! label will be promoted at transnational, national and local level, in central Europe and beyond, thus guaranteeing its sustainability and transferability.

COME-IN! Principles

PARTICIPATION - Nothing about people with disabilities WITHOUT people with disabilities involved.

NON DISCRIMINATION - people with disabilities are treated on an equal basis with others.

RESPECT - respecting the dignity of people with disabilities.

CORRECT WORDING - use the correct language to address and talk about people with disabilities.

COME-IN! Core objective

COME-IN! Main objective is to improve capacities in order to make the CE cultural heritage accessible to a broader public, including users currently not able to enjoy it. The valorisation of CE cultural heritage through an improved accessibility will contribute to the sustainable long-term socio-economic development of the area, paving the way to the sustainable and inclusive growth of the region. The project focuses on accessibility to "sites of culture" of any kind, with particular attention to small and medium size museums, for people with permanent and transient disabilities. The use of local cultural resources is an important part of the training of each individual and the accessibility to those resources makes Central Europe a better place to live. Indeed, disability (temporary or permanent) should not be an obstacle or be grounds for exclusion from such use. This statement seems obvious, but accessibility, in the different ways it can be understood, is an element of discrimination of our time. For people with motorial disabilities accessibility mostly coincides with the removal of architectural barriers, and for them, at least on paper, accessibility is widely accepted and more or less acquired; for other typologies of disabilities, e.g. cognitive and sensitive disability, accessibility is much less realized and we still have a long way to go.

What is innovative about COME-IN?

According to the principle that nothing should be done about disabilities without including disabled people, the project has a triple approach: including disability organizations, representing the final users, in order to understand which barriers exist to their access to cultural heritage and to define the standards to be applied in exhibitions/collections; involving public institutions as partners or associated partners, that can translate these solutions into practice (rules and regulations/signature of Letters of Endorsement); promoting and testing the project approach in a network of Central European small and medium size museums, through pilot investments for the re-definition of their collections, applying the identified criteria for making a cultural event equally enjoyable by people with disabilities. What is innovative about the project is the definition of a joint promotional approach that aims at designing a new cultural circuit in CENTRAL Europe through the COME-IN! label that can be awarded to cultural exhibitions and events conforming with the COME-IN! standards. Examples of a similar approach exist at the local (national) level, but COME-IN! for the first time will consider different kind of disabilities from a design for all-perspective and will have a transnational impact. The project results are intended to last beyond its lifetime: other museums will be involved and encouraged to apply the defined standards in order to receive the COME-IN! Label. 

How does COME-IN! contribute to wider strategies and policies?

COME-IN! contributes to the broader EU Disability Strategy. Based on the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, the European Commission promoted the European Disability strategy 2010-2020, suggesting among the different actions to make use of the ERDF for contributing to the accessibility and participation of people with disabilities to cultural materials and events. In Article 30-the UN convention explicitly states that “States Parties recognize the right of persons with disabilities to take part on an equal basis with others in cultural life, and shall take all appropriate measures to ensure that persons with disabilities […] enjoy access to places for cultural performances or services, such as theatres, museums […] and, as far as possible, enjoy access to monuments and sites of national cultural importance.” 

Also at national level the project contributes to the relevant strategies regarding equal opportunities, architectural barriers and accessibility to culture: •in Austria: at national level, Federal Law for equality of disabled persons and at regional level, Upper Austrian Law on equal chances; • in Croatia: National Legislation about buildings (NN153/13) and about Accessibility (NN78/2013); • in Germany, at national level “Federal Law about the equality of people with disability- BGG” and at regional level “Thuringian equality act for the integration of people with disability-ThuerGIG”;•in Italy, on physical barriers national law 13/1989 (plus regulations D.M.236/1989 and D.P.R. 503/1996) and on accessibility to culture national law 18/2009 (plus decree 28/03/2008 of MIBAC) and regional law 23/2015;•in Poland, State Fund for Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons (PFRON);•in Slovenia Government’s “ Action Plan for persons with disability 2014-2020” and “Disabled people’s organisations act – Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Equal opportunities”, also in terms of accessibility to museums “National Programme for Culture 2014-2020”.