The inspiration and impulse for the creation of the multifaceted notion of To Touch Culture was a study visit to the University of Cambridge. In 2007, that beautiful university town in the UK hosted us in the context of a disability awareness project for academic staff.
The equivalent of our Service in Cambridge issued a guidebook for persons with disabilities promoted by no other than Stephen Hawking himself, who is linked to the University. We were intrigued by adaptations and novel solutions used at that school (older than our Jagiellonian University) as well as inspired by the possibilities they opened. The guidebook, experiences, meetings and conversations shared a leitmotif: the primary key to overcoming barriers, including physical ones, is disability awareness.
To influence people’s awareness and make a radical change of attitudes towards persons with disabilities happen in Poland and other partner countries are also the objectives of our project. Consequently, we planned training courses together with our British partner, just like ones at the University of Cambridge. Full of enthusiasm, we returned to Krakow to share our observations with Jagiellonian University authorities and Director of the JU Collegium Maius.
And so plans were developed for adapting our University museum to the needs of persons with disabilities. Then we met the art historian Róża Książek-Czerwińska, which resulted in a guidebook to the JU Collegium Maius. Each year, the notion of To Touch Culture keeps developing. We invite you to have a look at the successive editions of our initiative: the fascinating content of open lectures, audio descriptions of artworks, descriptions of adaptations and video footage presented on this website, always remembering about the ultimate goal: more inclusion of vulnerable and excluded groups into knowledge and culture.