Innovative Practices 2014 on Accessibility

Communicating art in the Western Balkans

Training museum professionals in the Western Balkans to improve access to their buildings, collections and activities for persons with disabilities and enabling positive participation while challenging negative stereotypes.

“We support museums in the Western Balkans to partner with children & adults with disabilities and open up their institutions through creative inclusive practice“.

Diana WALTERS & Michèle TAYLOR
About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Accessible museums in the Western Balkans
Organisation:Cultural Heritage without Borders
of origin
Beneficiaries targeted Children and adults with disabilities
Approach/ model/ solution:Capacity building for museum experts


  • 10 museums in five countries delivered projects
  • Disability Toolkit produced, hard and softcopy, translated into local languages
  • 11 museums in six countries given fusing machines to produce tactile images


The knowledge of most museum experts in the Western Balkans, about needs and requirements of persons with disabilities, was rudimentary. The museums and staff were not equipped to design or implement strategies to improve accessibility. The social standing of persons with disabilities was particularly low and financial, political and practical barriers are being overcome in order to reduce fear and challenge prejudices and thereby enabling wider access.


Training and capacity building for professionals working in museums is at the heart of the project. A broader information and education program is also provided to raise awareness for the persons with disabilities and to promote inclusion and good practice. Children and adults with disabilities are welcomed as museum visitors and take part in various activities which enables them to experience their cultural heritage.


The project is funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and new partnerships with local organisations have been set-up. The integration into local structures guarantees sustainability of the project in a long-term perspective. In addition to the staff training, fusing machines have been provided for the museums to produce tactile images and maps. There was also a ‘Disability Toolkit’ produced and translated into local languages, containing many examples of access initiatives. This provides an invaluable source of information, ideas and support for those implementing access solutions in museums. The toolkit offers locally generated material and approaches and functions as handbook for all stakeholders.

33_Accessible-Museum_Cultural-Heritage-without-Borders_FotoMuseum of Kosovo, Prishtina – A number of mobile units which provide a multi-sensory experience of museum artefacts and interpretation with headsets and tactile images. They can be taken out of the museum in order to outreach to individuals who would not be able to visit the museum.


Cultural Heritage without Borders
Sabbatsbergsvägen 6 | 11321 Stockholm, Sweden
+46 (0) 768808871


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