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Open Access Inclusive museums: Look and not touch?

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This is a brief conceptual and theoretical paper on paradigmatic changes experienced with disability.  It is focused on the Social Model and the Universal Design, as well as the effects on the human rights to access culture and the practical actions that can be adopted to make cultural spaces and services, mostly museums and art galleries, accessible to all, mainly, elderly citizens (65 year old and older).   This paper is based on the author’s personal reflections and experiences, and is aimed at raising awareness within society in general and cultural service operators in particular, regarding the experience of those visually impaired accessing these services. Some general recommendations are offered, and several questions are raised about the role of universities in broadening opportunities for people with disabilities and the elderly to access and enjoy cultural products and services. Within this context, in order to avoid exclusion and discrimination due to the different barriers in the Costa Rican cultural environment, public policies and legislation regarding cultural rights must include the design of spaces, products and services based on the universal design and accessibility for all.  In Costa Rica this is legally binding for those programs and services financed by the State and municipalities.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Ministerio de Vivienda y Asentamientos Humanos

Publication date: January 1, 2015

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