ABOUT THE PROJECT
CLEAR aims to serve as a kick-start mechanism for generating a better attitude towards Cultural Values (CVs), making them accessible to all. The project wishes to make everyone aware of the possibilities represented by the increase in accessibility for people with disability. CLEAR will provide to different stakeholders (governments, tourist representatives, cultural operators, etc...) tools and practical experiences to improve the situation and will show them how to see the obligation of accessibility issues as a new opportunity.
In the EU27 about 16% of the population are over 65, up to 15% have a disability (visual, cognitive etc) and around 20% of people over 50 experience severe physical disabilities (Eurostat YBook 08). Moreover 36 million disabled people in the EU wish to travel, being also great consumers of culture in their area. Other groups too have been excluded from the CV market, not being qualifying in the idea of “normality” (pregnant women, single parents, those hard of hearing etc).
The current inadequacy of accessibility & poor management of cultural values in SEE countries results in a growing tourist market being ignored, a market represented by senior citizens, people with a disability or an impairment. Consequently, in a very competitive market focused on numbers & quick profit through trend marketing aimed at youth and able users, there has to date been little consideration of a “for All” philosophy to facilitate inclusion of a larger and even more quickly growing market, that of Europe’s senior & special needs population (intended here in a larger sense than disability).
Cultural Values and historic landscapes are important national assets (Historic parks and gardens,museums, historic urban squares and townscapes, ancient monuments, industrial heritage, cemeteries and commemorative sites, archaeological sites etc). The benefits of improving access go beyond meeting pure legal requirements or fostering equal opportunities. It is an opportunity to attract new audiences, increase the likelihood of repeat visits and improve the quality of experience for all visitors, thus increasing local business and new enterprise creation in relation to tourism fluxes and/or resident services and to new needed professions (advisory on disability issues, promoter of Diversity/for All approaches etc). The disabled and elderly represent a large and growing slice of the Europian Union population and are though of much interest to anyone serious about marketing.
It’s fundamental to aggressively pursue equity & diversity and it’s becoming compulsory to address the inequalities hindering CV sharing. Linking social&economic issues is also possible, as CVs for All means opening a new economic market. Being disabled, elderly or pregnant is not necessarily the same as being poor and disinterested in the world. SEE countries have developed the concept of accessible-to-all much less than in northern Europe. SEE countries have only applied a set of rules (minimum requisites) for physical accessibility to public spaces, often just translated as wheelchair accessibility (ie adding lift & step ramps). SEE countries need to bridge this gap while taking the opportunity to hasten both moral & economic development processes, creating new jobs, considering those with permanent or temporary impairments not just as economic burdens but as complete human beings and, as such, as consumers.
CLEAR wishes to make everyone aware of the possibilities represented by an increase in accessibility to cultural values and to give different stakeholders (governments, tourist representatives, cultural operators etc) tools and practical experiences to improve full accessibility to local CVs, thus transforming obligations into an asset and proposing market accessibility as a winning strategy for producing long-lasting beneficial effects in economic trends & social cohesion.
CLEAR partnership is composed of different players all relating to Cultural values accessibility themes:
- REGIONAL/LOCAL AUTHORITIES: institutionally responsible for the local management of CVs
- DEVELOPMENT AGENCIES: fostering local planning and development both economically and socially
- NON PROFIT ORGANISATIONS: representing final users, media, art & training
- A RESEARCH CENTRE: with great expertise on IT accessibility tools
CLEAR deals with all types of accessibility:
- Physical accessibility to/and in CVs as intended in more than just legal terms.
- Accessibility to knowledge & information on CVs
- Economic accessibility in both its dimensions: ie free services and paying for personalised services.
- Psycho-social accessibility, considering all learning need typologies (from learning difficulties to intellectual people requiring specific in-depth info).
- Socio-cultural accessibility, at a personal level anyone can benefit from cultural values- knowledge regardless of cultural, social, religious or ethnic background.
Aims of the CLEAR project:
From this starting point the project aims to underscore that CVs are a real asset to global competition – even more so when they are accessible to All. The attempt is thus to reach several objectives with the relative stakeholders:
- afford marketing experts and those working in the tourist industry the chance to discover the new CV market segment, giving them operational tools upon which to build activities,
- discovering new jobs linked to opening markets,
- creating new labelling, communication strategies & marketing tools,
- offering decision & policy makers, as well as local government, the chance to know what to ask city planners and architects so as to appreciate what is needed to practically enhance accessibility to local CVs and have guidelines available from the pooling of specific expertise whilst being inspired by collected best practices,
- raise public awareness on places committed to accessibility in which every right to knowledge, culture & discovery of the past may be satisfied while reinforcing a personal sense of feeling safe and accepted.
The CLEAR project proposes incremental innovation starting from the "for All" concept, well known but rarely applied in the SEE countries especially in regards to Cultural Values (CVs). Cultural Values and historic landscapes are important national assets (Historic parks and gardens, museums, historic urban squares and townscapes, ancient monuments, industrial heritage, cemeteries and commemorative sites, archaeological sites etc).
The benefits of improving access go beyond meeting pure legal requirements or fostering equal opportunities. It is an opportunity to attract new audiences, increase the likelihood of repeat visits and improve the quality of experience for all visitors, thus increasing local business and new enterprise creation in relation to tourism fluxes and/or resident services and to new needed professions (advisory on disability issues, promoter of Diversity/for All approaches etc).
More specifically the cultural values actively involved into the CLEAR project are: Museums, Archaeological sites, Squares, City centres and Monuments, Art Galleries/Visual Art Spaces, Auditoriums, Theatres, Historic landscapes, Religious Places.
A bunch of cultural values with accessibility characteristics discovered in the CLEAR project are presented bellow.