Accessibility to culture and heritage: designing for all

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This paper is based on the Guide that was elaborated in the context of the European INTERREG IVC programme CHARTS (Culture and Heritage Added Value to Regional Policies for Tourism Sustainability) project by the Laboratory for Tourism Planning, Research and Policy (University of Thessaly). The Guide examines the Accessibility to Heritage for all people by defining three moments: a) physical accessibility: the visitor to / receiver of a cultural good uses his/her body structure and functions in order to move inside the product in its original material manifestation or experience sensorially its tangible or intangible reproductions, b) perceptual accessibility: the moment of understanding culture/heritage and it has to do with the perceptiveness of the receiver and is closely linked to the receiver’s educational background, way of living and habitual mode of intellectual operation and finally c) appropriational accessibility: the apex of accessibility is the combination of the two previously acquired moments and it happens when the visitor/receiver may consider culture/heritage as part of himself/herself (familiarization) and use the adopted experience to intertwine his/her own story (narrational production). The Guide supports the idea of a sustainable management of culture, heritage, tourism and it is inspired by the principles of Universal Design: all people should enjoy in the same way same benefits and high quality services offered. The Guide tries to clarify the misunderstandings connected to the notion of accessibility, proposes policies for achieving accessibility to all cultural activity and gives planning principles for the strategic management of accessibility to heritage.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Definite Space – Fuzzy Responsibility, Prague, 13-16th July, 2015
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