Improving access at Newry and Mourne MuseumOctober 20, 2023
Easy Read Gallery Guides Launched at Newry and Mourne Museum Thanks to Museum Connect Grant
A new ‘Easy Read Gallery Guide’, designed specifically to enhance the experience of disabled or partially sighted visitors to Newry and Mourne Museum, was launched by Council Chairperson, Councillor Valerie Harte on Thursday 19 October. Funding for the design, translation and printing of the guide was provided by The Museums Connect Grant Programme which was funded by the Art Fund through NI Museums Council. This initiative aimed to support museums in evolving their practices, and fostering new and secure ways to connect with their diverse audiences.
The specialised guide, which is available in English, Irish, French and Russian features large print formats and includes detailed maps of each gallery within the Newry and Mourne Museum. The maps not only help visitors navigate the Museum but also highlight ‘must see’ artefacts on display. Additionally, an orientation map is included, showing accessible routes throughout the Museum building.
The creation of the guide stems from recommendations made in an Access Audit of the Museum conducted by Access Matters UK, an access consultancy firm, on behalf of the Northern Ireland Museums Council in June 2021. NI Museums council pleased that these multi-lingual Easy Read Guides will enhance the orientation and engagement of visitors with the rich local history and culture showcased in the Museum, furthering the Museum’s goal of providing accessible experiences for all.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Cllr Valerie Hart said, “I am delighted that the Museum has made accessibility for disabled individuals at the core of its work and would like to thank the Northern Ireland Museums Council for generously supporting this initiative. Ensuring that the Museum and its exhibitions are accessible to all is vitally important as we welcome visitors from all over the world to the Newry and Mourne area.”
Newry and Mourne Museum Curator, Dr Ken Abraham added, “A high percentage of our visitors have disabilities and we are pleased to introduce this new guide to enrich their Museum visits. It complements our popular audio guides, enhancing engagement with our exhibitions and Museum Collection.”
The ‘Easy Read Gallery Guide’ is available to all visitors free of charge at the Museum Reception.