You can learn in them using your senses: INAH Campeche
In recognition of being accessible to people with disabilities by the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH), the Ministry of Tourism (Sectur) of the Government of Mexico granted, on January 8, the Seal of Inclusive Tourism to four of these venues in Campeche: Mayan Architecture, Baluarte de la Soledad (MABS); of Mayan Archeology, Fort of San Miguel (MAM); of Underwater Archeology, Fort of San José el Alto (Marsub), and of Mayan Archeology of the Camino Real de Hecelchakán (MAH), the first of the Network of Museums of the INAH to have this distinctive.
According to Sectur, the seal —which also distinguishes hotels, travel agencies, restaurants, convention centers, hospitals, theme parks and tourist transportation— guarantees at a national and international level that a space not only has the knowledge to serve people with disabilities, “but it has the appropriate outdoor and indoor facilities, signage and information services to provide a quality service to this market segment.”
Regarding this distinction, the director of Museums of the INAH Campeche Center, Claudia Escalante Díaz, commented that the four aforementioned venues are universally accessible, that is, “that all types of public can learn in them making use of all their senses,” reported in a statement from INAH.
Since 2017, it began a series of interventions to install ramps, handrails, tactile lines for the blind and visually impaired, among other implements in the access, tour and services areas, as well as in the 24 exhibition rooms that the four museums make up.
The rooms have multisensory modules that integrate content in Braille, videos in Mexican Sign Language (LSM), scale reproductions of an outstanding archaeological piece, and headphones for blind people who do not read Braille.
There is the INAH Campeche application, which – through the voice assistant or voice over (technology used by blind people to operate their devices) – guides visitors from the entrance of the venues, narrates the content of each room, indicates where the services are located and explains how to get there and handle the multisensory modules.
Also, users can make use of brochures in Braille that include figures in macro text of the most relevant objects on display, and give an account of the history of the museum and the buildings that house them.
For Claudia Escalante Díaz, as important as the conditioning actions, were the training provided to the office, custody, cleaning and surveillance personnel, given by the management in charge, together with experts from the System for the Integral Development of the Family (DIF ) of Campeche and other organizations or educational centers that serve people with disabilities.
This task will continue, since the seal granted by the Sectur is valid every two years, and to endorse it, evaluation visits similar to those undertaken in 2020 will be carried out for the granting of the state and federal badges, obtained on December 22 and January 8 .
In the context of the current health contingency due to COVID-19, services such as tactile elements in the multisensory modules and the loan of wheelchairs for the elderly are suspended in order to avoid contagion by touch.
“The seal is a recognition of the personnel of the Directorate of Museums and those who work in a committed way in the four museums, which has worked hard to reopen each space, knowing what the health protection measures are, care for people with disabilities and the ideal ways to communicate all of this to the public ”, highlighted Escalante Díaz.
Since the reopening of the Marsub, in September 2020, it has received 4,740 visits; the MAM, reopened in October, has registered 6,602; the MAH, 343, after its reopening in November; and the MABS, reopened in December, has recorded 2,432 visits. These figures total 14,117 national and foreign tourists who, as of January 14, have enjoyed the museum spaces of the INAH in Campeche, under the schemes of the new normal.
Although the pause derived from the pandemic implied not being able to generate an accurate figure regarding the public with disabilities who attended these museums in 2020, the figures for previous years show increasing results, since in 2017, 2018 and 2019, visitors of this population segment were 482, 923 and 1,364, respectively.