The second Crafting Access training took place in October as an opportunity for colleagues from museums to share their experience and efforts to make their museum more accessible for disabled people. Four day long training gathered museum professionals, representatives of disabled people and craftspersons from Serbia, Bulgaria and FYR Macedonia around common goal to reduce existing barriers and promote the museum as a place for all individuals. After introductory presentation about the Balkan Museum Network, Dr. Diana Walters talked about Museums as educational and social institutions and how to use universal design and the social model approach to improve museum access.
The director of the host institution, The Homeland Museum of Knjazevac, Ms Milena Milosevic Micic presented the journey of their museum towards more accessible museum. She emphasised the importance of the strategic approach and building the relationship with the public through socially engaged activities. Comprehensive presentation of the activities of the National Institute Museum and Institute in Bitola was done by Mr Jove Pargovski who also showed Museum in a Suitcase that was the product of cooperation of their museum and The Homeland Museum of Knjazevac.
Crafting Access training was an opportunity to check the use value of the produced tactile images with Mr Tihomir Nikolic who talked about how blind persons experience exhibitions and how museum can create valuable experience for blind and visually impaired persons, helping them develop understanding about heritage artifact and to feel that the society affirms them and their contribution to the society.
Part of the training has been the visit to Archeo-Etno park Ravna where participants had the opportunity for hands-on work with clay, copper and acryl.
The main messages of the training was demonstrated benefits of working in partnership with disabled people and their association in the production of different sensory experiences and how museum can base their work on the skills and knowledge of the craftspersons.
Crafting Access training is part of the project funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, through the Foundation Cultural Heritage without Borders in Bosnia and Herzegovina.