On Tuesday 19 January 2021, Luxembourg's Minister of Culture, Sam Tanson, provided an update on inclusive culture projects in the Grand Duchy.
Minister Sam Tanson presented the latest projects developed and supported by the Ministry of Culture in the field of inclusive culture and access to culture for audiences with specific needs. These included a walk for all in the UNESCO “fortifications of the Old City of Luxembourg and its ancient quarters” district of the capital, educational training for professionals in cultural institutions and assistance in the development of projects for audiences with specific needs.
The Culture Minister stated: "By signing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Luxembourg is committed to guaranteeing the human rights and freedoms of persons with disabilities, including the right to culture. Cultural mediation and the facilitation of access to culture are among the most fundamental missions of a Ministry of Culture".
UNESCO walk for all
The "fortifications of the Old City of Luxembourg and its ancient quarters" encompasses 1,121 properties inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage register to promote accessibility for all and for inclusive societies. The catalogue of visits and routes crisscrossing this historic site has just been extended with two audio guides and a brochure intended for audiences with specific needs. These audio guides are available in English, Luxembourgish, French, German and Dutch on the izi.travel platform.
The walk is accessible for wheelchair users or those with a pram. The course was identified and tested by groups of people with specific needs as well as with the help of the integration and specific needs department of the City of Luxembourg, the managers of the centre for the development of skills relating to sight, managers of Hörgeschädigten-Beratung and Infohandicap.
The "UNESCO-Tour für Alle - Leichte Sprache" guide follows the same route, but in simplified language and with sequences filmed in sign language produced by the services of Hörgeschädigten-Beratung. This tour is only available in German, as this language is officially recognised in Luxembourg for sign language. The UNESCO World Heritage Cities Programme has just recognised this project as exemplary in terms of management practices, events and activities related to World Heritage and historic cities.
There is also a 52-page "UNESCO-Tour für Alle - Leichte Sprache" brochure aimed at accompanying this 1,950-metre route and which presents nineteen attractions. The text was transcribed with the help of Klaro ASBL / APEMH and Lebenshilfe Bremen e-V. The Luxembourg City Tourist Office (LCTO) also organises the UNESCO tour for all for group visits in sign language. The brochure is available at the LCTO (30 Place Guillaume) and at the UNESCO Visitor Centre at the Lëtzebuerg City Museum (14 Rue du Saint-Esprit) in Luxembourg City.
Aid for access to culture for people with physical or mental disabilities
In order to facilitate access to culture for audiences with physical or mental disabilities, Luxembourg's Ministry of Culture is working to help the country's cultural institutions acquire the skills and resources necessary to welcome these audiences. This includes the training of professionals from cultural institutions and aid for the development of targeted projects for audiences with specific needs. The latter is intended for any cultural institution that wishes to set up events, tools or long-term projects that specifically target this audience. The assistance is offered in the form of a call for projects and the projects submitted must be carried out in collaboration with a social partner.