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Mind’s Eye Meet-Up: “Art and Inclusion of persons with visual impairment: Practices and suggestions for implementation”

Mind’s Eye Poster with Speakers

The online conference entitled “Mind’s Eye Meet Up – Art and Inclusion of Visually Impaired Persons: Practices and Suggestions for Implementation” seeks to open a fruitful dialogue of exchange of inclusive practices on the accessibility of persons with visual impairment to the experience of art and culture.

Invited speakers from the field of culture, education and the community of persons with visual impairment shared their experiences and presented suggestions and practices that promote inclusion. The event aimed to inform and raise awareness of cultural professionals and the public about the inclusion of visually impaired persons in arts and cultural venues with the goal of creating a protocol of good practices that could potentially be adopted by more cultural institutions in the future.

The online meetUp served as an introductory event of the pilot project “Mind’s Eye | Touching Art “which was applied in part of the space and the collection of the MOMus-Museum of Contemporary Art from June 2020.

The event took place on May 16, 2020, in the framework of the International Museum Day 2020 and is dedicated to the memory of Theodoros Konstas, the first blind tour guide in Greece.

Language: Greek

Duration: 16th May 2020

Curated by: Stela Anastasaki in the context of Mind’s Eye

Partners: MOMus-Museum of Contemporary Art-Collections of the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art and the State Museum of Contemporary Art

Center for Training and Rehabilitation of the Blind Thessaloniki Branch

Greek Sign Language Interpretation Services was courtesy of Spyros Kouzelis ALL-Accessible Limitless Living

Mind’s Eye MeetUp Programme:

Event Moderator: Anastasaki Stela Art Historian, “Mind’s Eye” Project Manager

Introduction-Greetings: Syrago Tsiara, Deputy Director, MOMus-Museum of Contemporary Art-Collections of the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art and the State Museum of Contemporary Art

Stavrenia Koukoula, MD, PhD, Ophthalmic Surgeon, Specialization in Electrophysiology of Vision and Genetic Diseases of the Retina, Institute of Ophthalmology & Microsurgery Ophthalmica | Vision-visual-perception

Stela Anastasaki, Art Historian, Mind’s Eye Project Manager | The application of the Mind’s Eye project in the space and collection of the MOMus-Museum of Contemporary Art

Lia Avraam, Instructor of Mobility / Orientation & Everyday Living Skills for Persons with visual impairments, Center for the Education and Rehabilitation for the Blind Thessaloniki Branch | Inclusion & Accessibility practices for people with visual disabilities in places of culture

Chryssa Zarkali, Museologist, Public Relations & Communication Manager MOMus | “Touching art” – Conclusions from the implementation of the accessibility program for people with partial or total vision loss

Chara Kanari, Special Education Professor, Museum educator and postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Special Education of the University of Thessaly | Including people with visual impairments in culture and the arts: Access to and education in formal and non-formal learning environments

Kalliopi Ghika, Artwork Guide for Visually Impaired People, Operations Manager Tactile Museum Athens, Lighthouse for the Blind in Greece | Tactile Investigation following the principles of the Loretta Seki method at the Tavtile Museum of the Lighthouse for the Blind in Greece

Kerasia Michalopoulou, Audio Describer – Subtitling for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Liminal Access | Audio Description and Visual Arts – The visual made verbal

Ioanna Zacharou, Author of Children’s Books, Vice President of the Panhellenic Association of the Blind-Regional Union of Central Macedonia | Accessibility to Art

Panagiota Panou, Instructor of Mobility / Orientation and Everyday Living Skills, Panhellenic Association of the Blind – Regional Union of Eastern Macedonia | Mobility and orientation training for the visually impaired during their professional training as a tour guide in museums and archeological sites

Different but equal citizens: free access to culture for all

Participation in a two-day training seminar addressed to employees of the General Directorate of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture & Sports entitled “Citizens different but equal: free access to culture for all”, which was organized under the National Action Plan AMeA_2021-2023 by the Department of Educational Programs and Communication of the Directorate of Archaeological Museums, Exhibitions and Educational Programs of the Ministry of Culture & Sports, on November 25th and 26th, 2021 at the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki.

The seminar the first day comprised a series of lectures related to methods of inclusion of persons with disabilities in the experience of culture with invited speakers Ch. Kanari, A. Tsitouri and S. Anastasaki. On the second day, the guest speakers guided the participants to plan an educational activity that was addressed to a specific target group during a hands-on workshop of 2.5 hours duration. In addition, a hands-on training was implemented getting the participants regarding techniques for mobility and orientation instructions for people with blindness and visual impairment held by representatives of the CERB-Thessaloniki’s Branch.

November 25, Presentation: “Art beyond sight: Inclusive practices and conclusions from the pilot project “Mind’s Eye | Touching Art 2020.”

November 26, Coordination hands on seminar: “Experiential exercises for approaching exhibits of the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki for people with visual disabilities.”

Organized by: Department of Educational Programs and Communication of the Directorate of Archaeological Museums, Exhibitions and Educational Programs of the Ministry of Culture & Sports

Duration: 25-26 November 2021

Venue: Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki

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