Accessibility March 22, 2019
Kochi Muziris Biennale introduces Braille texts, becomes torch-bearers for inclusive art festivals
Kochi Muziris Biennale is one of the biggest art festivals in the world. The event lasts for three months and is held every two years. This year’s Biennale got thumbs up for its introduction of many inclusive features. From showcasing works of youngsters with autism to making the Biennale venue accessible for people with disabilities, the organizers did not leave any stone unturned to make sure that Muziris Biennale is made disabled friendly. The event is coming to a close this month. Last week, they introduced Braille texts for visually impaired art lovers for the first time in its last four editions.
25 exclusive Braille books were introduced so that visually impaired people who visit the 108 day long festival will get the best out of it. These books were sponsored by Delhi Art Gallery (DAG) in collaboration with Access4All.
Siddhant Shah, an Accessibility Consultant and Founder of Access4All is super excited when he talks about these new Braille texts.
I have been closely following Biennale ever since it was first launched. We took the texts to many blind schools as well and they got a better and in-depth understanding of the beautiful art works. Introduction of these Braille texts is a great way of promoting inclusion. For the organizers of Biennale, it did not really matter that the event was coming to a close. They were still in for working on these texts. They have also promised me that next time more features will be introduced to reach out to art lovers with all kinds of disabilities-Siddhant Shah, Founder, Access4All
It is important to make art accessible. With technological advancements, it is not impossible to reach out to more disabled people. That way, Kochi Muziris Biennale is true torch bearers of inclusion. Bose Krishnamachari, Co-founder of Muziris Biennale, has assured that Braille texts will be introduced from day 1 of the next Biennale.
Husna Ameen is a visually impaired person from Kerala. Ameen is a computer trainer who reaches out to blind people. She says that the initiative by Biennale organizers is a great way to promote inclusion. But it definitely comes with a setback.
“Not every visually impaired person knows to read Braille. Nowadays, there are many technologies that help visually impaired people to know things better. Hence, it is not really necessary to know Braille. I believe audio feedbacks about art works would have been a better option. I have not even come across any art galleries that reach out to blind people. So for those who love art and know Braille, this new introduction is definitely great, says Husna Ameen.
Kochi Muziris Biennale will come to an end on 29 March. If you still have not checked out this visual treat, make sure that you do not miss one of world’s biggest art festivals.
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