Museums and art galleries have the ability to tell a community’s shared story through art and artefacts, inspire introspection and form connection that transcends boundaries of race, religion, and sex. This is why it’s paramount that these spaces be accessible to everyone, including differently-abled people.
While there are still many more strides to make toward making our country’s public spaces accessible to all, the capital’s National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA) has, for the first time in its history, included aids for hearing and visually impaired visitors for an exhibition.
The one crucial difference this time was the close engagement of differently- abled persons every step of the way.— National Gallery of Modern Art New Delhi (@ngma_delhi) September 24, 2022
Visitors from National Association for Blind with visual-impairment were taken on a special tour of the exhibition of mementos received by the Prime Minister. pic.twitter.com/ehi6aRKwdh
The International Week of the Deaf coincides with the ongoing exhibition of mementoes gifted to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the years. According to the museum, the exhibition has already attracted hundreds of visitors to the gallery, making it the perfect opportunity to introduce guided tours in sign language and exhibition catalogues in Braille along with an audio app for differently-abled visitors.
On #InternationalDayofSignLanguages, @ngma_delhi hosted a guided tour of the mementos received by @narendramodi in sign language for hearing impaired children & young adults.— Ministry of Culture (@MinOfCultureGoI) September 25, 2022
The exhibition was followed by a cultural event.
Here are a few glimpses ⬇️#PMMementosAuction2022pic.twitter.com/QnzEj7ASeN
On September 23rd, NGMA also organised a cultural event to highlight the new, more inclusive, additions to the program. On the day, the tour of the exhibition was followed by the recital of the national anthem in sign language by the Sai Swayam Society for the speech and hearing impaired and a musical performance by Anhad, a band of visually impaired musicians.
The theme for this year’s International Week of the Deaf, a week-long initiative by the World Federation of the Deaf and its national affiliates, was “building inclusive communities for all” and NGMA’s steps towards making the gallery accessible to all is a step in the right direction.
“Bearing in mind the significance of the ongoing International Week for the Deaf, we have introduced several innovative solutions to keep those with hearing and visual impairment, engaged with happenings at the museum,” said Temsunaro Jamir, director of NGMA, in a statement.