Provisions for visually impaired people in museums and galleries in Scotland : an investigation
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This investigation aims to assess issues of physical, sensory and intellectual access to museums and galleries in Scotland, with a particular relevance to people with sight difficulties. The research has been completed from the point of view of the visually impaired visitor, using original fieldwork comprising visits to museums accompanied by people with different types of sight difficulties. An examination of the facilities provided has been undertaken from the visitors' perspective alongside the current and forthcoming legislative requirements. The opinions of the museums' community have been taken into consideration primarily by discussions with the curators of the museums and galleries visited. An appreciation of the legislative stimulus for museums and galleries to consider people with disabilities, the Disability Discrimination Act 1995, is also attempted, including reports from the MPs involved in the development and the introduction of this legislation and the MSPs with responsibilities for the representation of people with disabilities in the Scottish Parliament. A particular focus is applied to the introduction of Part 111 of the legislation which was enacted during the research period and used as a stimulus for the areas of questioning with the visually impaired people who assisted. This facilitates the presentation of a context against which to place the findings of the discussions with visually impaired people. Visitors are an essential requirement for the existence and future of museums and galleries and the potential audience of people with visual impairments is increasing and significant.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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