The Municipal Museum of Archeology of Albufeira closes its doors for a period of about one month, to start several works aimed at better accessibility to this cultural center, located in the prime area of the city. These works derive from a project submitted to the Tourism Support Line of Tourism of Portugal, in the total amount of € 283,714.47. Of the total investment, € 168,414.74 was considered eligible by Turismo de Portugal for the purposes of the application, and an incentive of 90% will be awarded, corresponding to € 151,573.26.
This project was the result of a survey of barriers that included the physical barriers of the surrounding space, the visitable areas, the lavabos, the intellectual barriers and communication of the exhibition space, being one of the methods auscultation to associations of people with disabilities and elements of the society, with a view to equal opportunities in access to education and culture, for the full exercise of the right of civic participation, active and integral, for each citizen.
In this way, the area surrounding the museum will have parking spaces reserved for people with reduced mobility, as well as a pedestrian circulation area, secured by the placement of pins. On the facade of the museum, a ramp will be installed that will serve as the main entrance along with the existing one, and any visitor can choose the one that suits him best. In the reception there will be a counter for display of the products of merchandising, with height that allows visibility to the audience in wheelchairs. Also in this space, there will be a monitor with information on cultural activities in the county, with multilingual information and voice option. The rooms, dedicated to the periods of Prehistory, Roman, Visigoth / Islamic and Modern Age, will include the projection of texts in several languages (Portuguese, English, French, Spanish and German), sound notes, shelves with tactile replicas of the pieces that are inside the case. The Hall of Visigothic / Islamic period, because it has a superior gap, although surpassed by a platform lift, will not be inserted in the accessible route, although it can be visited by people with other special needs than the motor ones. In this case an interactive table placed in the previous room will present the objects, the texts, as well as other additional information.
Also worthy of note is the installation of a screen and projector with columns for projection of films, documentaries and other audiovisual information corresponding to temporary exhibitions, in the Hall of the Modern Age (where it contains rocky architectural elements from the former Igreja Matriz de Albufeira) holiday dates or other events.
The toilets will undergo remodeling works. It is planned to install an accessible toilet, changing diapers and space for feeding and guide dog watering. For the general public will be installed two toilets.
In the accessible route, inside the museum, will be offered the possibility of using tablets with dedicated application, in which the visitor can choose audio guide or textual information. All contents will be made available in the said foreign languages and in Portuguese and English Sign Language. A multilingual version with audio description treatment will also be available. For children, two versions were considered, in Portuguese and in English. Along the accessible route the tactile pieces or replicas will also have subtitling in Braille. All obstacles will be marked by tactile pavement.
As for the future, the Municipality of Albufeira has the intention of assessing, after the application of the new measures, the suitability of these measures. Although these may have resulted from in-depth study, discussion of ideas, listening to associations and the general public, corrections may be required. It is planned to open a small interpretive nucleus of the Praça da Republica, in which all the necessary measures for universal accessibility were considered, complementing the cultural offer to tourists and locals. Museum staff have been given training in the area of accessibility, which is intended to continue, complemented by courses in foreign languages and LGP. It also emphasizes the accessibility of the museum's Web accessibility and the increase of awareness initiatives aimed at the local community, hoteliers, shopkeepers, catering, associations, with specific objectives to raise awareness of accessibility issues and promote the idea of social return, tourist and economic value that these can cause, as well as, of common gain. It is also intended to initiate a series of activities aimed at families and groups with special needs.
Satisfied with the approval of this project, José Carlos Rolo states that "culture is one of our greatest assets, but its communication is a civic attitude centered on all citizens. We are an accessible Municipality and we work continuously for the abolition of any barriers. Without this, we can not claim to be a welcoming destination. In fact, we already are, not only in several public buildings, but also in our beaches ". The mayor of Albufeira also affirms that it is the intention of the Municipality to promote the importance of accessibility to private agents and for this, will count on the actions that will be developed not only by the Municipal Museum of Archeology, but also by other valences.