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Increase of accessibility of Museum contents and meanings for persons with disabilities (PwDs) by using Digital Technologies – analysis of questionnaire results

During the second half of March 2023, Balkan Museum Network (BMN) conducted a survey to determine how many members use digital technologies (DT) to increase accessibility for socially vulnerable groups of people with disabilities. Ten member museums have filled out the online questionnaire which was designed and analysed by Aida Šarac Berbić.

Among huge varieties of digital tools for different kinds of technologies, Balkan museums offer to PwDs, mostly the following forms of DT:

  • audio guides (6 museums)
  • official museum websites adapted for use by different groups of PwDs (5 museums)
  • forms of digital assistive technologies (5 museums)
  • apps for alternative exhibit interpretation (5 museums)
  • artificial intelligence (AI) systems with augmented reality (AR) elements (4 museums)
  • AI systems with virtual reality (VR) elements (3 museums)
  • gamification or other form of digital play & learning engaging systems (3 museums)
  • sing language guides (1 museums)

Most museums:

  • Use smart phone/tablet devices and touch screen devices;
  • As a target group work with and for persons with hearing impairments, persons with visual impairments and elderly people 65+;
  • Include groups in the process of developing and creating content for digital technologies in pre-testing phase and to verified easy-to-read language;

To find out more about how museums collaborate with IT and education sectors, as well as creative industries; which is the most predominant multimedia content and who is financing these activities, read the analysis of the survey in the full document.

The activity is part of SHIFT project.

SHIFT is funded by the European Commission’s Horizon Europe program. It brings together 13 leading research and industrial organisations and SMEs with a common vision: to strengthen the impact of cultural heritage assets. SHIFT will produce an array of tools taking advantage of the latest developments in fields such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Haptics, and Auditory Synthesizers to increase the appeal of historical artefacts, improving their accessibility and usability for everyone through better content representation, enriched user experiences, inclusive design, training, and more engaging business models.