Istituto di Scienza e Tecnologie dell'Informazione     
Cordoni G., Leporini B., Norscia I., Palagi E. Learning ecology and ethology in the Museum of Natural History and Territory of Calci (University of Pisa): a multisensorial and "egalitarian" approach for special users. In: WEEC - 3rd World Environmental Education Congress (Torino, Italy, 2-6 october 2005).
The educational opportunities offered by a Museum, which is a public wealth, should be accessible to all users, including those with special needs, such as disabled people, children, and elderly visitors. The Natural History Museum of the University of Pisa, together with the Italian Blind Union (Section of Pisa) and the CNR of Pisa (ISTI), is promoting a more egalitarian approach to environmental education, through the realization of project that aims at allowing all visitors, including vision impaired ones: - to plan the visit to the Museum and access its main contents by navigating an accessible and usable Web site (following the requirements specified by the Italian law "Stanca" n. 4/2004); - to explore a "tactile hall", hosting "touchable" specimens and scale models of animals and divided into three main environments: wood/meadow, sea, and swamp (with a spatial arrangement following the DPR 384/78 and the Italian legislation related to the accessibility of public buildings to handicapped people); - to perceive the ecological context, with the help of three-dimensional boards representing the different environments, "sound backgrounds" with vocalizations of several animals and "nature noises", and special boards with Braille text for blind people and magnified text/background colours for low vision users. - to further increase their knowledge of the ecology and ethology of the animals "met" during the visit to the Museum through an accessible and interactive cd - including three different levels of education - for schools and any possible category of final users. In concclusion, a multisensorial approach is necessary to make the Museum really "available" for special users, to favour a clear understanding of the contents also by children and elderly people and to enhance a pleasant learning process of environmental subjects that are too often confined to a flat visual dimension.
Subject Accessible museum
Accessible education
Blind users
H.5.2 User Interfaces

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