Overview of the accessibility of cultural facilities
Overview of the accessibility of cultural facilities
Conducting an accessibility inventory
What is accessibility for the Ministry of Culture and Communication?
According to its inter-ministerial definition, accessibility is "the reduction of the discordance between, on the one hand, the possibilities, skills and abilities of a person and, on the other hand, the resources of his environment allowing him to participate autonomously in the life of the city ".
For the Ministry of Culture and Communication, accessibility means:
. access the premises a question of architecture and hospitality;
. actively access cultural industry products, works and knowledge : a question of scenography, adaptation of the cultural offer, technical devices and human mediation;
. access to heritage and knowledge as a public : a question of adapting the cultural offer, of human mediation and, where appropriate, of compensation arrangements. It is a matter of making the public an actor in its cultural practice so that it can both become aware of this heritage and appreciate it, to appropriate it and pass it on to its entourage;
. access to information, tools of thought, critical discourse, cultural exchange, citizen discourse a question of adapting information and communication media, learning and mastering the language;
. access artistic practices as an actor: professional practices : a question of adapting curricula and learning techniques, associated with the provision of technical devices; amateur practices: a question of human mediation, associated with the provision of technical devices.
The training of cultural professionals and the information of users are prerequisites.
Accessibility: a legal obligation to implement
The accessibility of the built environment to persons with disabilities is a legal obligation, reinforced by the law of February 2005 for equal rights and opportunities, participation in the citizenship of persons with disabilities.
This obligation involves taking into account all visitors, regardless of the difficulties they encounter: physical, intellectual, cognitive, visual or auditory. It applies in particular when it is a matter of achieving a continuous, identifiable and secure path, throughout a chain of movements: from roads, public transport, car parks, to the services offered within the cultural establishment, ERP (facility receiving from the public) or IOP (facility open to the public) from accessible and adaptable housing.
The behaviour and needs of users change with the places and activities in which they are expected to participate. There are therefore no recipes, and the answers must be adapted to each situation. Depending on the case, a person with a disability can go alone or accompanied in the cultural equipment. It should, as far as possible, have simple access to the institution.
Making an inventory of accessibility makes it possible to define a framework for the search for appropriate answers in order to improve overall the comfort of use of the equipment.
It is a question of asking the questions essential to the use and understanding of places and of taking into account a certain number of actions inherent in the logic of displacement and participation:
move from one point to another;
locate, orient, understand space;
access buildings and premises;
access the offer and use the facilities offered by the establishment;
communicate and participate;
be and feel safe;
use and enjoy the premises in conditions of convenience and comfort adapted to their purpose.
Improving the accessibility and quality of use of cultural facilities can be envisaged in two stages.
1 . Upgrading of all cultural heritage buildings: carrying out a diagnosis of the building, identifying the needs and expectations of people with disabilities, while respecting the integrity of the existing architectural heritage.
The aim is to establish a qualitative diagnosis of cultural equipment along two lines of reflection:
- accessibility and quality of use of local roads in connection with parking spaces;
- the accessibility and quality of use of the equipment from the point of view of the needs of each person concerned (public and professionals with a disability).
This inventory, carried out throughout the real travel chain, makes it possible to schedule (on the basis of multi-year programming if necessary) work in line with the specificity of the places and the needs of each other.
2 . Systematic insertion of the principle of accessibility and quality of use in any new development, any creation of equipment with cultural vocation, from the road and preferably in connection with the public transport network.
The solutions chosen must avoid presenting a distinctiveness that is too stigmatizing for users and visitors.
These orientations must be part of a global approach integrating the cultural, architectural and social identity of the building and respect for the user.
A questionnaire to help diagnose and assess the situation
In this legal context, all the directorates of the central administration of the Ministry of Culture and Communication mobilized in order to develop, in collaboration with the partners associations representing the disabled, a common grid for an inventory of access to cultural sites (surroundings, facilities), information-communication, reception, services and cultural offer.
This grid also takes into account the development of partnerships and staff training. For a study of access to the cultural offer as close as possible to the needs of people with disabilities, the questionnaire is broken down according to usage: access to exhibitions, live performances or audiovisual, reading and teaching.