Guiding principle of inclusion
Our museum welcomes different social and cultural groups and persons with various mental and physical disabilities to learn about the history, present and future of Frankfurt – spontaneously, independently and not just within the scope of special programmes.The staff at the Historisches Museum Frankfurt agreed on this mission statement in an all-day internal workshop in November 2015. Around 30 colleagues from all departments of the museum took part, addressing the topics of inclusion and accessibility – both theoretically (through lectures from external speakers) and practically (in instructed workshops) – and discussing the concept developed by the internal work group “Inclusive Museum”.
As early as 2013, the Historisches Museum Frankfurt set up a work group which pays particular attention to the development and implementation of an inclusive exhibition and museum concept – with an eye to the design of the new exhibition house opening in 2017 as well.
Creating simultaneous accessibility for all kinds of restrictions is a challenge, as different needs tend to clash.
A step can be an important aid in orientation for a blind person, whilst at the same time presenting an obstacle that is difficult for a wheelchair user to overcome. However, we still want our exhibitions to be accessible for as many people as possible in future. In this sense, our “Inclusive Museum” concept is based on the principle of a buffet, meaning: Not everybody will find everything interesting, but there is certainly something for everybody. Inclusion is a cross-sectional task for the museum and only works if this is established as a basic principle and rooted in everything we do.
We have taken the first step by adopting the mission statement. We assume that engaging with the point of view of those with disabilities creates new access for ALL visitors and that ultimately ALL visitors profit from this.