Working in line with the vision of "Another Disability Policy is Possible" of Tunç Soyer, the Mayor of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, Izmir Metropolitan Municipality continues to bring people with disabilities together with art. Artifacts in İzmir Museum of Touchable Handicapped Arts await visitors with visual and hearing impairments.
Working in line with the vision of "Another Disability Policy is Possible" of Tunç Soyer, the Mayor of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, Izmir Metropolitan Municipality brings people with disabilities together with art. The Izmir Touchable Barrier-Free Modern Arts Museum (IZDEM), which was brought to life at the Ornekkoy Awareness Center, is the first and only modern arts museum in Turkey, organized by a municipality.
Touchable and with audio description
Replicas of the works of famous painters of the modern arts period are exhibited in İZDEM for the visually and hearing impaired. The works of many world-famous artists, with 44 ceramic relief paintings worked by Idol Art House artists, are included in the museum in tactile and audio description. In addition, twelve architectural models prepared by the İzmir Metropolitan Municipality Vocational Factory Branch Directorate with three-dimensional printer technology are exhibited at the center.
Obstacles are overcome with İZDEM
Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Disabled Services Branch Manager Nilay Seçkin Öner said, “There are difficulties in the access of disabled people to art all over the world. Particularly, the visually and hearing impaired are experiencing greater difficulties in accessing the works under protection in many museums. Ornekkoy Awareness Center is hosting the Izmir Touchable Barrier-Free Modern Arts Museum, which will overcome this obstacle. This museum appeals to all segments of society, not just the disabled.”
Suitable for age ranges and disability characteristics
Nilay Seçkin Öner, who also stated that the paintings are accessible with audio description and sign language on izdem.org, which is owned by the Izmir Metropolitan Municipality, “Also, the design process of any work is explained in accordance with age ranges and disability characteristics. Table descriptions were made with contents such as multiple thinking, being able to design what one thinks and respecting different ideas.
“Very nice museum”
Visitors are satisfied with the center. Utku Keskin, who is visually impaired, said, “I like to visit museums and take an interest in art. It is a very nice museum for the visually impaired. We want them to continue,” he said. Leman Erkan, who is visually impaired, said that the museum is very beautiful and that he likes the paintings. “It's really perfect,” said Sedef Chios.
“Proud to be here”
Elif Babur, 11th grade student, stated that the museum made her feel different and that she had the opportunity to reinforce her lessons. Student Sedanur Keskin said, “It's an honor to be here. We empathized and took their place. We were blocking them. We learned that we should not be an obstacle," he said. Ülkü Karadağ, a child development teacher, said that the students saw the difficulties of the disabled people and said, “It is a great awareness… We thought it was for the visually impaired, but we recommend everyone to come here and see it.”