The role of mass media in the development of the inclusive environment discussed at Saint Petersburg Cultural Forum

On the 16th of November during the VI St. Petersburg International Cultural Forum a panel discussion “A window to the culture: the role of information in the development of inclusive environment” was held.


The panel discussion was organised by the Art, Science and Sport Charity Foundation and TASS news agency in partnership with the Deaf-blind support foundation “Con-nection” and the British Council. The participants of the discussion talked about current problems of accessibility of the cultural environment to people with disabilities. Experts came to the unanimous conclusion to unite efforts to create the information platform to support visually impaired people within the program “The special view” and expand cooperation with mass media to make people aware of this topic.

During the session, the TASS news agency presented the research that it conducted about the coverage of accessibility of the cultural heritage objects to people with disabilities to. According to the research, in last 5 years the quantity of publications about the cultural heritage in mass media in Russia has increased by three times, although the majority of publications does not explain the concept of “inclusivity”.

According to the research of the TASS agency, it is difficult to find any information about the cultural events organised for people with visual impairments. In particular, the information about venues where visually impaired people could watch the movies with audio description appear in the top 20 results of Yandex search engine only in 17% of Russian regions.

Maria Melnichenko, the program director of the the Art, Science and Sport Charity Foundation, suggested an idea of the aggregated informational portal where visually impaired people could find the information about cultural heritage, art objects and events available to them.

“First of all, this platform will publish the calendar of all cultural events taking place in Russia, the catalogue of all movies and theatre plays with audio description, information about specialists engaged in this area, news about technological innovations and other relevant information. We are opened for the partnership and we try to engage all partners working in this area” Maria Melnichenko said.

Tamara Zolotareva, the assistant chairman of the All Russian Society of Disabled People, Anton Getman, the general director of the Stanislavski and Nemirovich-Danchenko Moscow Academic Music Theatre, Lidia Abramova, the vice-president of the All Russia Association of Blinds, Sergey Vanshin, the author of the audio description project in Russia and the general director of the All Russia Association of Blinds Reakomp, Vera Arma, an Italian specialist of the audio description and a social activist, Liudmila Borzyak, the Honoured cultural worker of Russia and a commentator of “Radio Russia”, Dmitry Polikanov, the president of the Deaf-blind support foundation “Con-nection” and Tim Webb, the general director of the Britain theatre company “Oily” participated in the discussion.

Andrey Sokolov, TASS deputy general director, moderated this event.


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The role of mass media in the development of the inclusive environment discussed at Saint Petersburg Cultural Forum
The role of mass media in the development of the inclusive environment discussed at Saint Petersburg Cultural Forum
The role of mass media in the development of the inclusive environment discussed at Saint Petersburg Cultural Forum
The role of mass media in the development of the inclusive environment discussed at Saint Petersburg Cultural Forum
The role of mass media in the development of the inclusive environment discussed at Saint Petersburg Cultural Forum
The role of mass media in the development of the inclusive environment discussed at Saint Petersburg Cultural Forum
The role of mass media in the development of the inclusive environment discussed at Saint Petersburg Cultural Forum
The role of mass media in the development of the inclusive environment discussed at Saint Petersburg Cultural Forum
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