Multi-sensory video guide in Italian Sign Language
Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore goes digital
About the practice
To create a path of the whole monumental complex of the Cathedral and of the museum accessible to deaf people.
The project was at first born as a videogallery; to realize it, there has been a contact between the person interviewed and several experts from other museums, where she has taken inspiration from (notably, the Ducal Palace of Urbino that has too a path for deaf people, and the Basilica of San Lorenzo in Florence).
With the help of Alessandra Biagianti from Association “Comunico” in the Tuscany region, that is specialized in sensorial disabilities, and the mediation of Association PRISMA, the project starts on developing material for deaf people. The museum chooses what the content is about: an art historian and the artistic director of the museum create the texts about the art pieces of the museum, then they get reviewed with the help of 2 deaf people, Carlo Dibiase and Valentina Boni. The first step is just a survey of the texts, then they get rewritten and recorded for the multimedia content.
Though there have been ideas to translate it in BSL or international language, in the end the project has stayed only in Italian.
About the institution
The project creates a path accessible to deaf people for the Museum and the whole monumental complex of the Cathedral, through a video guide created with the support of LIS (Italian Sign Language), images and interactive animations and subtitles created by trained storytellers. The content is free and available on a tablet supplied by the Museum and within the app #MuseoDuomo, downloadable from both iOS and Android stores.
In 2016 the responsible for accessibility of the museum (i.e., the person interviewed) has been assigned with the task of increasing the accessibility of the museum. The project started by focusing on deaf people and how to create a way for them to fully enjoy the complex
Florence, Tuscany region, Italy
As the Guide of deaf people was part of the general app of the complex, there aren’t data on the number of users only of this project. Since the start of the project some training courses have been implemented in the museum, for its personnel, on the topic of the project.
The success of this project is underlined by the recognition given by the deaf community, which have included it in the official list of the museums accessible for deaf people, and also ENS (the National Association of Deaf People) have contacted the museum.
In addition, the project has been complimented by non-deaf visitors of the museum.
People with sense of hearing disorders
As it is a project that creates accessibility to art and on a fixed budget, it is both socially and economically sustainable.
It is a project that can be replicated, considering that the economic effort hasn’t been enormous, and that in fact it can also be replicated on a lower budget (e.g., the videos can be shot with a different and cheaper technology). What is important, in replicating it, is the involvement of the target group, in order to create a product that is going to be useful for them, and the help of experts in the field that have already worked with the target and possibly on similar projects
The technological tools used don’t need specific skills to be used, as the innovation isn’t in the technology itself, but in its use in an innovative way to create accessibility for people with hearing disability disorder.
The project has been entirely financed internally; for the realization the allocated and fixed budget was of €10.000, then for the innovation in 2018 the budget allocated amounted to €2.500.
Expanding to other sign languages, so far available only in LIS (Italian Sign Language)