Ruth Mitchell

Member Article

Museum facilities to improve for deaf people

Museums in the North East have been awarded more than £60,000 to improve facilities for deaf people who use British Sign Language (BSL). The money will be spent on breaking down barriers which BSL users sometimes face and improving access to the region’s heritage and culture. Initially the project will be rolled out across the venues of Tyne & Wear Museums, Beamish, The Bowes Museum and Hartlepool Museums. It will then be expanded to some of the other museums of the region. The North East Regional Museums Hub, a partnership of museums in the region, has been awarded £50,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The project will also be supported by funding from MLA North East and Tyne & Wear Museums Business Partnership, Connecting Through Culture. Jane Montgomery, access officer for the North East Regional Museums Hub said: “The North East is leading the way in ensuring deaf visitors can benefit equally from our museums and galleries. No other museum or gallery in the country is working with deaf BSL users in this way and we hope that we are setting new standards that will be followed nationally.” The project will be led by a steering group consisting of museum staff and representatives from Deaf led groups in the region, including Becoming Visible, Tyneside Deaf Youth Project and North East Deaf Association. Tessa Padden, chair of Becoming Visible, said: “Becoming Visible is delighted to be a partner in this project with the museums of the region. Tyne & Wear Museums is the first mainstream organisation really to put flesh on the bones of what Deaf people in the North East want – total access, inclusion and recognition in the cultural life of our society.”

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Ruth Mitchell .

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