Mission

Access Culture promotes access – physical, social and intellectual – to cultural participation.

Vision

To make difference mainstream.

Principles

  • We avoid the expressions “for everyone” and “special”
  • We support people’s autonomy
  • We Insist on the quality of services, we don´t believe in “better than nothing”

Objectives

  • To place the issues related to access – physical, social and intellectual – in the centre of the reflection and practice of the cultural sector;
  • To contribute towards the technical preparation of culture professionals in what concerns access, promoting change on the ground;
  • To promote dialogue and reflection regarding access in public fora;
  • To publicly intervene whenever people´s right of access to culture and cultural rights are not respected.

Actions

In order to fullfil its mission and objectives, Access Culture:

  • Organises training courses in areas related to access;
  • Conducts audits and gives technical consultation to cultural institutions (under construction or existing ones), in order to promote the princíples of access and give support in the implementation of the resulting recommendations;
  • Organises seminars, conferences and workshops, with the objective to create a forum of debate and the promotion of best practices;
  • Promotes and participates in the developmet of research projects related to access;
  • Participates in projects that aim to promote thinking and best practices in relation to access;
  • Shares news and studies related to access;
  • Aims to cooperate with similar organisations, nacional or foreign, which share the same concerns and objectives.

Definitions

True equality of opportunities mean access must be:

Direct

Immediate

Permanent

As autonomous as possible

Accessibility: Accessibility is giving equitable access to everyone along the continuum of human ability and experience. Accessibility encompasses the broader meanings of compliance and refers to how organisations make space for the characteristics that each person brings (American Association of Museums).

Cultural participation: participation in any activity that represents a way for individuals to increase their own cultural and informational capacity and capital, which helps define their identity and/or allows for personal expression. Such activities may take many forms, both active (such as working in the cultural sector or volunteering for a cultural organisation) and passive (such as watching a movie). They may occur through a variety of formal or informal channels, including the internet (based on the UNESCO definition, 2012).

Cultural rights: Cultural rights protect the rights for each person, individually and in community with others, as well as groups of people, to develop ans express their humanity, their world view and the meaninings they give to their existence and their development through, inter alia, values, beliefs, convictions, languages, knowledge and the arts, institutions and ways of life. They may also be considered as protecting access to cultural heritage and resources that allow such identifications and development processes to take place (according to the definition of Human Rights Council, 2010).

Diversity: Diversity is all the ways that people are different and the same at the individual and group levels. Even when people appear the same, they are different. Organisational diversity requires examining and questioning the makeup of a group to ensure that multiple perspectives are represented (American Association of Museums).

Equity: Equity is the fair and just treatment of all members of a community. Equity requires commitment to strategic priorities, resources, respect, and civility, as well as ongoing action and assessment of progress toward achieving specified goals (American Association of Museums).

Inclusion: Inclusion refers to the intentional, ongoing effort to ensure that diverse individuals fully participate in all aspects of organisational work, including decision-making processes. It also refers to the ways that diverse participants are valued as respected members of an organization and/or community (American Association of Museums).

Intellectual barriers: Barriers that prevent or hinder the full enjoyment of cultural participation by people who: have low literacy; no technical or specialist knowledge ; sensory disabilities or impairements – for example, blind, deaf; people with attention deficit; people with intellectual disabilities; people within the autism spectrum; people whose first language is not Portuguese; among others.

Physical barriers: Natural or artificial (structural) obstacles which prevent the approach, transfer or circulation of people with reduced mobility in what concerns spaces, furniture or urban equipment.

Social barriers: social circumstances which create difficulties in accessing cultural participation. For example: educational level, illiteracy, unemployment, social isolation, scarcity of cultural programmes in the area where a person lives, geographic isolation, serving jail sentences, etc.

Access Culture 2013-2016

What’s changed?

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