Real Experienced Needs for Accessible and Inclusive Cultural Heritage - First Results in MuseIT

LINKING THEORY AND PRACTICE OF DIGITAL LIBRARIES, TPDL 2023(2023)

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Abstract
The aim of this paper is to present an overview of the preliminary findings in an ongoing study conducted in MuseIT - a Horizon Europe project (Oct. 2022 - Sept. 2025) - proposing technologies facilitating and widening access to cultural assets in an 'inclusive way'. The paper reports the results of a literature review and the first ideation workshop conducted in January 2023. The workshop participants represented cultural institutions and their users, and/or consumers and producers of cultural assets, with a focus on people with disabilities. The findings show that the digital environment is greatly appreciated by participants with disabilities for both communication with others and for self-expression. Cultural institutions are aware of the variety of needs, including the need for collaborative development of services accessible to all. However, there is a perception gap between the two. To address these, there is a need to involve people with disabilities - who are experts on such needs based on lived experiences - in the design of tools and services aimed at meeting their needs. Furthermore, there is a need for improved understanding of disability and diversity of needs, in projects involved in developing technological systems to facilitate and broaden accessibility.
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Key words
Accessible cultural assets,digital cultural heritage,people with disabilities,need for cultural inclusion,MuseIT
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