Breaking the barriers of disability and making art inclusive and accessible for the differently-abled, the tactile experiential programme called “Senses” at the Serendipity Arts Festival (SAF) has enabled the visually-impaired to get a feel of the exhibits at the Adil Shah palace in Panaji.
This has been conceptualized by art access consultant, Siddhant Shah, where differently-abled visitors, children and senior citizens got an opportunity to engage in the act of ‘viewing’ art with the help of touch.
“In a space for social and educational engagement, the Senses project acts as catalyst to allow intellectual and social access to those demographics who are otherwise overwhelmed and do not participate in these events,” Shah said.
With the ‘Please Touch’ signage contrasting the conventional ‘Do Not Touch’ warnings often seen at galleries, Shah opened up a fresh avenue by including the differently-abled and the elderly.
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Physical maps, braille books, tactile reproductions of art works on display and braille-equipped signage are part of the exercise. “These enable visitors to understand the various aspects of the artworks through multiple senses. The products and the ideas designed will allow a wide range of interactions with the artworks on display, thus making it universal to a large section of the society,” Shah said.
An in-depth disability access audit and consultation with the Nipman Foundation has helped the festival provide physical access and support services at the venue for visitors with disabilities. They have also teamed up with Access Logic and Logistics in order to make selected exhibitions accessible for the visually impaired audiences and others with special needs.
Read More: TOI