Vyksa Holds Discussions of Making Cultural Environment Accessible to People with Disabilities

A round table on developing accessibility tools for cultural facilities was held in Vyksa, Nizhniy Novgorod Region, on December 3 (AO OMK operates its Vyksa Steel Works, AO VSW, in the area).

The round table was attended by Nizhniy Novgorod Regional Minister of Culture Nadezhda Prepodobnaya, Nizhniy Novgorod Regional Ministry of Social Policy Director of Social Support for Veterans and People with Disabilities Roman Golubev, Vyksa Municipal District Deputy Chief Executive Oxana Gabdrakhimova, OMK-Uchastiye Charity Foundation Supervisory Board Chair Irina Sedykh, experts in creating accessibility tools, representatives of museums, cultural centers, associations of disabled people from Moscow, Nizhniy Novgorod, Vyksa, and other municipalities.

The round table was organized as part of the Vyksa:Accessible! project which is the first systemic project by the OMK-Uchastiye Foundation to create equal access to cultural events for people with and without disabilities by meeting the needs of all people. The event’s primary objective was sharing best practices to make cultural life accessible to people with disabilities.

The Foundation unveiled its project to adapt VSW museum and Vyksa Steel Works tours for people with different disabilities: hearing and sight impairments, reduced mobility as well as adapt the information for people with developmental disabilities. The project is unique insofar as it does not focus on a single disability but seeks, instead, to meet the needs of all populations.

Representatives of the Tsaritsyno State Museum (Moscow) also spoke of their experience in these matters as did employees of the State Center for Contemporary Arts, the State Museum of Contemporary Arts in Nizhniy Novgorod, the Nizhniy Novgorod State Art Museum, and other cultural facilities.

“The region does a lot to make cultural facilities accessible to people with disabilities. We are developing inclusion programs, supporting relevant initiatives from businesses and non-government organizations. To continue along this path effectively, we will need to establish feedback channels to give people with health issues unlimited possibilities in culture”, noted Nizhniy Novgorod Regional Minister of Culture Nadezhda Prepodobnaya.

“We have come to the realization that targeted financial assistance is not the only thing that should be done for people with disabilities. They need to be able fully to integrate into their community's social and cultural environment. We have set ourselves the objective of creating the conditions that would empower people with disabilities to develop as they see fit, to integrate in their community’s cultural life, and to feel like they are as much residents of the community as the next person. We want the Vyksa:Accessible! project to be a success and really useful for the town's residents. That is why we are thankful to those that agreed to attend the round table and share their experiences and opinions. We hope this will help create an accessible cultural environment for people with disabilities not only in Vyksa and the Nizhniy Novgorod Region but throughout the country while Vyksa becomes a resource for this effort”, emphasized OMK-Uchastiye Charity Foundation Supervisory Board Chair Irina Sedykh.