In conclusion, I would like to note the quality of our exchanges and debates. They reflect the importance of this National Conference which is a true mirror of the challenges posed by disability: it mobilizes concrete solutions, it proposes tangible achievements. Allow me to mention a few projects that seem decisive to me in the field of culture and communication in the coming months.

With regard to access to cinematographic works:

As part of the various aids to the digitization of heritage, the production of subtitling and audio-description of films, as I announced, will be taken into account as part of the specifications. This measure will make films and/or documentaries available on broadcasting platforms, including Video on Demand (VàD), as well as DVDs, movie theatres and television channels.

To ensure and streamline the availability of closed-captioned versions for the hearing impaired and audio-description versions on all broadcasting media - room, television, video, Video on demand - the National Centre for Cinema and Animated Images will undertake, at my request and without delay, a coordination action of all the stakeholders and professional sectors concerned: producers, distributors and exhibitors. The aim is to reach a reference agreement on the audio-description and subtitling of films.

More specifically, access to cinematographic works in theatres:

In order to promote the equipment of the rooms and to allow access to the works broadcast, the CNC will integrate into the conventions allowing the modernization of the rooms the possibility of selective assistance for the installation of a transmitter of closed captioning and audio-description as well as promoting the programming of accessible sessions. I would like to point out that this equipment expenditure can already be covered by the automatic CNC assistance to which each operator can access.

In order to raise awareness among exhibitors and promote the distribution of accessible films, the CNC, in conjunction with the MCC, will launch a pilot action in 2011, involving the organization of a consultation with all exhibitors (Fédération nationale des cinémas français ) to ensure:

the installation of equipment allowing both subtitling and audio-description in a minimum of rooms in each region;

regular programming of accessible sessions, in consultation with user groups (people with visual and hearing impairments).

To carry out this action plan, I have commissioned the TNC to conduct two studies that will:

  • the identification of films accessible from their release in theatres;
  • the realization, in association with the professionals of the sector, of an inventory over the whole territory, rooms equipped by transmitter allowing audio-description, amplification or subtitling and the identification of pilot networks.

Access to culture must be in all its dimensions, reflecting the diversity of ways of expression and the professions of culture:

  1. I also wish to mobilize the public institutions WHO depend on MO MINISTERE on this issue

At the same time, the dialogue between the public institutions that depend on the Ministry of Culture and Communication has been ongoing since 2003. I asked these institutions to develop a national “Innovation, Research and Development in Cultural Accessibility” program.

As part of the monitoring of the implementation of the 2005 act, my department will integrate respect for the accessibility of the built environment and cultural offer into the investment grants of its operators. By way of illustration, this may concern a quota and the positioning of accessible places within the places of presentation of the live show.

I also value access young people with disabilities in the cultural professions. A this title, we have put in place a financing plan that makes it possible to undertake the upgrading of the buildings of higher education schools Culture, the accessibility of pedagogical contents, competitions and exams, Finally, cover the transportation costs of disabled students enrolled in our schools.

  1. Access to artistic and cultural practices IS ALSO A MAJOR PROJECT

Equality of rights and opportunity implies equal access to cultural practices, especially amateur practices which, as we know, can shed light on a life, reveal a “universe”, and allow an intimate relationship to art and culture. A lot of people with disabilities want to practise art. We have to help them, we have to support them. People with disabilities know how to surprise us: accompanied, they can renew the languages of creation, blazing new paths for artistic expression. To me, they are true actors of cultural diversity; they contribute fully to vitality but also to humanity of our culture. A man of the theatre like Pippo del Bono expressed it wonderfully.

In this regard, the Ministry of Culture and Communication supports the emergence of inter-professional networks promoting access to artistic practices of people with disabilities in places of practice open to all. I am thinking in particular of the exemplary work of the network Music and Disability supported by my department since its inception in 2008.

Making it accessible also means promoting cultural practices as close as possible to people with disabilities. In host institutions, culture must not be a variable of adjustment, a simple added value: it must be present at the heart of the establishment project. Artistic expression and cultural development within medico-social institutions are a factor of vitality and allow an openness to the world. In this regard, access to culture is the best means of freeing the mind from the “prison of the body” and, for some, freeing the body from the “prison of the spirit”.

That is why in the framework of the new convention that I had the pleasure of signing on May 6, 2010 with Roselyne Bachelot, we have laid the foundations for the extension of our Culture-Health policy to the whole medical-social fieldStarting in 2011, we will implement this new policy in five pilot regions.

I hope that all these subjects will be examined and followed up in the context of the next meeting of the National Commission on Culture and Disability, which will be held in the Rue de Valois in the autumn and whose date we will soon set.

To form one’s own sensibility, to appropriate masterpieces, to be nourished by contemporary creation, it must not be a “preserved island” for an elite, nor must it be an “inaccessible continent” for these women and men who suffer from disabilities but want to be moved, want to be amazed, want to vibrate in unison with their contemporaries.

To open them, to open the doors of cultural places to you, is in a way to change our gaze and to change ourselves, is to make the word equality not only the inscription of a republican virtue but a public policy that transforms our daily lives and our lives.

I am convinced that together, armed with the same will, mobilized for the same objective, we can do much, we can change the way we look, we can shake up habits, we can shake up these certainties that constrain us. I have a conviction: culture is aggregation, mixture, diversity. It cannot be a place of exclusion, it cannot create intimidation, it must not seem inaccessible. That is what this debate is all about.