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Canadian Museum for Human Rights wins international award for inclusion

Canadian Museum for Human Rights wins international award for inclusion

India Blooms News Service | | 10 Dec 2016, 05:19 pm
Winnipeg - Dec 10 (IBNS) The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) was Friday presented with the prestigious Gold Award from the International Association of Universal Design (IAUD) at a ceremony in Nagoya, Japan.

The award is presented annually for outstanding contributions towards building an inclusive world where everyone can live together comfortably and without barriers to participation in daily life, regardless of ability, age, gender, ethnicity or other factors.

The CMHR was recognized for its efforts to create a rich museum experience for people of all abilities - in wayfinding and physical accessibility, exhibition design, visitor services, public programming, and interactions with both digital and non-digital content.

"We committed to a 'design-for-all' approach at the earliest stages in our development, and our standards continue to evolve as we work with the disability community and our visitors, learning what works and what doesn't," said CMHR President and CEO John Young. "Being internationally recognized helps build awareness and sensitivity across our entire industry, which can help improve accessibility standards everywhere."

Corey Timpson, the CMHR's Vice-President of Exhibitions, Research and Design, will present the Museum's inclusive approach to 5,000 delegates from over 30 countries who are attending this week's conference in Japan. The IAUD is an organization based in Japan that promotes the creation, through products and services, of a society where more people feel comfortable to live.
CMHR will also focus on inclusion and accessibility for people of all abilities during events held at the Museum in Winnipeg for International Human Rights Day.

Admission is free all day on Dec 10 and includes demonstrations of assistive technology used by people who are blind or non-verbal, a guide dog presentation, and performances by a Deaf mime troupe and an all-abilities dance group. Sign-language interpreters and touch-signal intervenors (who assist people who are Deaf-blind) will be positioned throughout the building.

This month marks the 10th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

A museum for everyone: inclusive approach to design

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights decided to adopt an inclusive design methodology from the start, rather than designing something first and adapting it later to be accessible. Inclusion became a mandate across the organization and a key characteristic of the corporate culture.

An Inclusive Design Advisory Council (IDAC) was established. It now consists of a dozen members with a various disabilities from across Canada. This council helps the Museum make informed decisions and connects it to disability communities for further prototyping, testing and criticism. A National Test Group was established, made up of 30 people from across the country who use various adaptive technologies.

Design standards were developed for everything from typography and built structures to optimal reach distances and digital presentations. These standards surpass Smithsonian guidelines and set new Canadian and world standards for universal accessibility.

All digital media in the Museum (over 100 hours of video and film) includes descriptive audio, sign-language interpretation, open captions and individual volume control.

The Museum developed a unique Universal Keypad (UKP) with help from the Inclusive Design Research Centre at the Ontario College of Art and Design University. The UKP allows blind and low-vision people to navigate digital touchscreens via tactile buttons and text-to-speech functions. These visitors can have content read aloud, control volume, zoom screens and access all digital media. The keypad also includes a wrist-rest for those with upper-body mobility challenges.

Over 150 iBeacons have been installed throughout the Museum to deliver content to visitors' mobile devices through a unique app, enabling text-to-speech readers to describe text panels and visual attributes for visitors who are blind or low-vision. Universal Access Points with raised numbers, Braille, and tactile floor markers indicate the location of iBeacon points where new information can be found using the app's "Near Me" mode.

The app includes supplemental content in sign language and augmented reality, and a self-guided tour for visitors of all abilities.

CMHR standards for inclusive design are a living, evolving product. This leads to creation of increasingly more inclusive experiences for visitors. It also builds awareness and sensitivity about the needs of visitors of all abilities -- not only among CMHR teams but across the cultural industry.



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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again; UNESCO regrets #HagiaSophia, #Turkey, #Istanbul, #HagiaSophiaMosqueAgain Istanbul/IBNS: Hagia Sophia, Turkey's iconic monument, a UNESCO World Heritage and one of the central attractions of its capital Istanbul, is no longer a museum. It has been turned back as a mosque though some 1500 years ago it was built as an Orthodox Christian cathedral. Hagia Sophia was converted into a mosque during the Ottoman time in 1453 while under Ataturk it was turned into a museum in 1935. The decision comes amid a growing rise of the Islamists in Turkey who had been demanding that it be restored as a mosque though Opposition leaders with secular credentials had been against the move. A top court in Turkey ruled that turning it into a museum in 1935 by modern Turkey's secular architect Mustafa Kemal Ataturk was illegal, paving the way for present Turkey president Recep Tayyip Erdogan to declare it as a mosque again and to open it for Muslim prayers. Erdogan made the announcement an hour after the court ruled the conversion to museum in 1935 as illegal and scrapped its status. "May it be beneficial," posted Erdogan on Twitter, sharing an official document on the change with his signature. UNESCO regrets In an immediate reaction, UNESCO said it "deeply regrets" the decision. UNESCO said it was "regrettable that the Turkish decision was not the subject of dialog nor notification beforehand". "UNESCO calls on the Turkish authorities to open a dialog without delay in order to avoid a step back from the universal value of this exceptional heritage whose preservation will be reviewed by the World Heritage Committee in its next session," the United Nation's cultural body said in a statement. Istanbul icon of beauty and wonderment According to Turkey's official tourism website, Hagia Sophia is a remarkable achievement in the history of architecture. and a living proof of mankind's revolt against the laws of physics and it calls it a monument whose importance transcends borders. It is one of UNESCO's World Cultural Heritage sites attracting millions of visitors across the world with its majestic grandeur

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Erdogan's Turkey turns Hagia Sophia into a mosque again 11 Jul 2020, 01:37 pm