The OMK-Uchastiye Charity Foundation (Moscow) is proceeding with a new project, called “Vyksa: Accessible!”, to involve disabled people in the Town of Vyksa, Nizhniy Novgorod Region The project's primary objective that the Foundation is pursuing with support from the Municipal Government is giving disabled people an opportunity to get actively involved in the cultural scene in the Vyksa District.
The Vyksa Steel Works (AO VSW, Nizhniy Novgorod Region, a United Metallurgical Company (AO OMK, Moscow) subsidiary) History Museum became the project's launchpad. The program targets the development of accessibility best practices in the museum environment and a town-wide educational effort to make society accepting of disabled people.
“The project's emphasis is on the inclusive approach, i. e. on working with people with and without disability at the same time. This approach will tested at the VSW History Museum, and then expanded in the form of best practices to other social sites in the district with the support of the district executive. The project became a logical extension of our Foundation's concerted 10-year effort to expand accessibility, to improve the living and rehabilitation conditions for people with disabilities”, communicated OMK-Uchastiye Foundation General Manager Larissa Orlovskaya.
As part of the “Vyksa: Accessible!” project, a study has been made of advanced practices related to receiving visitors with disabilities, for instance at the Alexander S. Pushkin State Museum (Moscow), and training in the relevant fundamentals has begun for staffers at the VSW Museum. Development is under way to compile adapted museum tours as well as industrial tourist itineraries for Vyksa Steel Works. Tours in Russian Sign Language have also been developed to be made available to hearing-impaired visitors, the first tactile mock-ups of museum exhibits have been created for blind visitors, and a social story is being written that will help autistic visitors find their way around the VSW History Museum. Trial museum tours have been conducted, and full roll-out is scheduled starting in the fall of 2018.
“I would like to thank the OMK-Uchastiye Foundation for making the best practices to include different categories of residents, including disabled ones, available in this town. Being an active participant in this town’s cultural scene is very important to many people. We will do our best to enable every town resident to do that whether disabled or not”, noted Vyksa Municipal District Deputy Chief Executive for Social Policy Oxana Gabdrakhimova.
A show, called “Disability: Honestly”, has been opened as part of the “Vyksa: Accessible!” program telling both children and their parents about disability and inclusion. The first Russian Sign Language tours to Vyksa Steel Works have been organized for hearing-impaired persons. As part of the program, Project Supervisor Marina Potanina held a public master class in understanding disability for social workers, department of education employees, and teachers on August 8.
Inclusion is the process of actually involving persons with disabilities and making them active social participants. It implies the development and application of specific solutions enabling everyone participate equally in social life.