Resources for Visitors with Disabilities
The Museum of Villajoyosa places a high priority on the physical and intellectual access for all members of the public to its cultural heritage. Therefore all amenities and services provided have been designed with special consideration of space, height, size and other general restrictions for all groups of people including those with visual, mobility or hearing impairments. This also benefits other visitors such as children, families with pushchairs, people with temporary reduced mobility etc…The same criteria is applied to the guided cultural tours whereby all the activities carried out have been adapted for all types of disabilities.
The building of the new museum, being carried out 2005-2006, will be physically and intellectually adapted for all visitors with disabilities. In addition, the Museum of Villajoyosa Web Site is totally accesible, attaining an AAA level under the WAI Guidelines
In order to achieve this, the museum is collaborating closely with such institutions as the National Organisation for the Blind (ONCE) and the Valencian FESORD (Federation of the Deaf).
Amongst the resources for the blind or the visually impaired are the hands-on models, adapted for wheelchairs, with signs in Braille and with an audio display in three languages (Valencian, Castilian and English). Some archaeological artefacts (stone inscriptions, cannonballs or Iberian Sculpture) can be handled by these groups of people with advance notice given to the museum staff. There are four models: the Poble Nou Phoenician necklace (enlarged 10 times), the Saint Joseph funerary tower (2nd century A.D.), the Historic Old Town at the beginning of the 18th century and the l'Aguiló watchtower (16th century). There is also a "sensory" table which displays Roman and modern concrete and reproductions of perfume bottles which contain natural aromas used by the Romans.
There are also information sheets with artefacts and monuments drawn in relief (Fuser Plates) such as the view of Villajoyosa in the 16th century by R. de Viciana and the Egyptian New Year Flask. Similar information sheets for the blind are available for the temporary exhibits.
The texts of the museum are in macro type, in large size Arial font contrasted well against a neutral background, which allows people with impaired vision to read them. There are also some publications in macro type Arial 14 with line spacing 18 available for visitors (the Catalogue of the exhibition of Saint Martha: Five centuries of History of Villajoyosa).
The present Archaeological Museum has an access ramp from the street but the ramp's slope is steeper than that required due to the limitations of the building. However there is a removable ramp available with a shallower slope that permits access to the museum for people in wheelchairs with the help of a member of the museum staff. Once inside the museum the floor space does not have any physical barriers or obstacles for the visitor. The display cases and models have been adapted for wheelchairs and the texts and artefacts are placed at a mid height of 1.35 m from the floor which allows easy viewing for standing adults, children and users of wheelchairs.
The audiovisual displays produced for the museum are always subtitled according to the standard criteria set out by the teletext guidelines of the Valencian Canal 9 Television Company. The hands-on models also have printed texts of the audio for people with hearing difficulties.