Enhancing Accessibility in Cultural Heritage: Erasmus iNCLUSION Project Kicks-Off

On June 23, 2024, we kicked off the Erasmus iNCLUSION project with a vibrant meeting led by the TÜBA – Turkish Academy of Science, focusing on making heritage education more accessible and inclusive. This project, funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey and the EU, aims to empower individuals with disabilities through educational initiatives across Europe.

By connecting persons with disabilities, who make up a distinct audience of heritage institutions, and higher education students from across Europe, the iNCLUSION project aims to deliver practical resources and suggestions on activities that will make the cultural heritage on display in museums and galleries more accessible to locals and tourists alike. The training programme organized for 80 young professionals will enable them to acquire new skills that align with the needs of the labour market, thereby boosting their employability. This innovative project will produce relevant results for students, persons with dissabilities, cultural heritage professional and experts.

Attendees of the meeting will be representatives of the partner organizations: the Turkish Academy of Sciences-TÜBA (Türkiye), the Anadolu University (Türkiye), the SOBA Foundation (Türkiye), the SEALS Foundation (the Netherlands), ARTIFACTORY (Greece), and the Balkan Museum Network (BiH).

The kick-off meeting started with a warm welcome from TÜBA President Prof. Dr. Muzaffer Şeker, highlighting the importance of inclusive educational cooperation. Founded in 1993, TÜBA puts great emphasis on scientific excellence and global collaboration, with Türkiye’s capital, Ankara, as one of the foremost places of exchange. Prof. Dr. Şeker also touched upon the importance of fostering unity and dialogue, especially in times of global crises.

Assoc. Prof. Kevser Çınar outlined the project’s management structure and goals, stressing the importance of teamwork between all six partners, and we proceeded to discuss several exciting developments, including the launch of the project’s website.

We were particularly exhilarated about the following two days, and the opportunity for the project team—which includes partners from ARTIFACTORY, SEALS Foundation, SOBE, Anadolu University, and the Balkan Museum Network—to visit several key institutions with the aim of building partnerships and raising awareness about the project.

These meetings included the visit to the Anatolian Civilizations Museum Directorate where we met with director Mr. Yusuf KIRAÇ.

Also, the Ankara University, where we met with Rector Prof. Dr. Necdet Ünüvar to discuss ways of adapting educational resources for people with disabilities at the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations.

At Hacettepe University, we had a great discussion with Rector Prof. Dr. Mehmet Cahit Güran and his team about collaborating on accessibility and heritage preservation, while at Anadolu University we met with Rector Prof. Dr. Fuat Erdal, learning more about the work of the Research Institute on Disabilities and Language and Speech Disorders Education Center.

Finally, we visited the Ministry of Family and Social Services to meet with Deputy Minister Sevim Sayım Madak and Dr. Yasin Akar who joined us to discuss improving access to historical and cultural sites.

Many of our conversations focused on the power of storytelling to aid our understanding of heritage and guide the creation of inclusive educational materials. Our project team relies on visual aids and structured learning for individuals with autism, making sure that the education program is tailored to their needs.

“One of the highlights for me visiting two centers that are part of the Anadolu University in Eskisehir: the Research Institute for Individuals with Disabilities, and the Research Centre for Speech and Language Disorders. What our colleagues have shown us is extremely impressive, and I am thankful for their sharing of their experiences and practices. It is an honor to collaborate with partners that have this level of professionalism and experience,” said Aida Vežić, BMN Secretary General.


The Erasmus project titled “iNCLUSION”, whose implementation is led by TÜBA, is a big step toward making heritage education more inclusive and accessible. By working together with partners across Europe, we’re aiming to empower people with disabilities and enrich everyone’s cultural experiences.

For updates and more information on the project, check out www.inclusioninhed.eu

Through our combined efforts and shared expertise, we’re making real progress toward creating a more inclusive society. This project isn’t just about education—it’s about building bridges and ensuring that everyone can enjoy and learn from our cultural heritage.

The iNCLUSION Project is co-financed by the EU as a part of the Erasmus+ programme, and will be implemented over a period of two years.


About Project Partners:

Turkish Academy of Sciences-TÜBA was founded over 30 years ago as an autonomous, state institution dedicated to the promotion of scientific research, accomplishments, and vocation, as well as the creation of different policies, and strengthening accessibility in this and related fields. TÜBA is the leading organization on the iNCLUSION project.

ARTIFACTORY is a non-profit organization from Greece whose work is based on the conviction that arts and culture are primary levers of social development, economic growth, and civic education, playing a vital role in acquiring the skills necessary for the contemporary labor market. The organization promotes experiential and socially inclusive access to cultural heritage.

Stichting for Education on Agility Liberating Structures-SEALS is based in the Netherlands and develops educational programmes and trainings for different levels of education. The programmes are rooted in a new approach that aims to respond to the common challenges of the institutions that SEALS works with, namely accelerating pressures for growth and innovation.

SOBE Foundation offers education and rehabilitation services for people on the autism spectrum (ASD). A range of educational programmes and resources aim to create opportunities for development of empowered, creative, and socially included individuals, capable of meeting their needs independently of others.

Anadolu University was founded in 1982 in Eskişehir, and offers students from around the world access to its Open Education and Distance Education programmes. The institution celebrates and centers on lifelong learning that has the potential to shape the future.


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