Before Perkins training, there were no accessibility options for people with disabilities visiting the Earth Sciences Museum in Rio de Janeiro.
Now? Their impact grows.
Accessibility in numbers
In 2021, the Sentidos Brasil-Perkins Working Group (WG), which consists of people with disabilities, families, and professionals with experience in the education and inclusion of children and youth with visual impairments, multiple disabilities, and deafblindness, helped the museum impact 3,945 people.
So far in 2022, the number of people impacted rose to 9,411. The museum has:
In 2018, Perkins established the WG hoping to implement more accessibility options in Brazil. Since learning isn’t limited only to schools, they developed action plans to improve accessibility within cultural institutions. Soon after, in 2019, the Earth Sciences Museum in Rio de Janeiro welcomed the initiative.
The WG, along with Perkins support, coordinated the training for the museum staff. They introduced the scope of disability diversity and various accessibility strategies such as audio description, sign language, and other communication tools. In addition, they provided the staff with opportunities for tactile exploration, hand under hand strategy, and more.
While the pandemic derailed the world’s plans in 2020, the WG and the museum maintained a strong connection. The museum’s team members became energized in making their space and their collection of minerals and fossils accessible to everyone. Célia Corsino, the museum general coordinator, gave a lively speech about the experience, “The museum team has been different since we started the partnership with the [WG]. We now have a different perspective and a different way of thinking about our work, being aware that it must happen to everyone, and that it is possible to do this!”