ERFURT, 26.06.2018

"Inclusive museums - challenges & solutions, state of the art & perspectives" - Thematic Conferences in Udine and Erfurt

On the 9th November 2017 the first Thematic Conference entitled "Inclusive museums - challenges and solutions" took place in the Archaeological Museum Udine, Italy. Main intention of this conference was exploring the opportunities, but also potential limits for the creation of inclusive museums and furthermore to present the main Come-In!-achievements developed, in particular the Come-In!-guidelines and the Handbook for operators to create accessible museums and exhibitions. Following basic reflections on the importance of an inclusive approach in creating a “democratic museum”, several speakers presented good practices of accessible museums from different European countries, e.g. highlighting the involvement of disabled persons in the museum activities and work, organisation of exhibitions and guided tours for all. Those experiences turned out to be rather inspiring for museums involved in the Come-In!-project. Most of the speakers highlighted that increased accessibility is not only useful and interested to disabled people, children or elderly people but to any visitor. Such an improved offer and an increased number of services attract new visitors, moreover new audience means more sharing, learning and memorisation. About 100 participants attended the conference, their contribution was important as questions and suggestions raised are very helpful to museums that are about to carry out interventions to increase their accessibility. Particular interest was shown for the training for museum operators presented by the Come-In!-project. Learning how to approach and work with a specific group and to organise exhibitions and guided tours is an essential part of transformation towards a fully accessible museum.

The second Thematic conference “The inclusive museum - State of the art & perspectives” took place on 26th June 2018 in the Monastery of St. Augustine in Erfurt, Germany. This event again assembled experts and stakeholders from all over Europe and aimed at outlining the current picture and perspectives of inclusion and accessibility as essential tasks for museum makers. Important questions in this regard were raised and potential paths and state of the art approaches to shape this challenge were demonstrated, before the COME-IN!-methodology for inclusive museums and first experiences of their practical implementation were presented and discussed.
The presentations and papers of both conferences have been compiled and published in the conference proceedings in “Berichte des Instituts Verkehr und Raum” (ISSN 1868-8586) and online.