This month, some of the replicas of Sharjah Museums Authority’s (SMA) objects are made more accessible for visually impaired visitors. The tactile tours are part of a new initiative to broaden the authority’s services for people with disabilities.
Visually impaired visitors will be given braille leaflets with more details about the exhibits and the opportunity to touch artifacts as part of the interactive museum experience.
One of the replicas showcased at the Abu Bakr Gallery of Islamic Faith at the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation includes a Holy Quran attributed to Uthman ibn Affan written in Kufic script on parchment made from animal skins.
Additional replicas in the same museum include a Kaaba curtain embroidered with Quranic verses and Islamic patterns and a Quran replica of calligraphist Ahmed Karahisari.
The reproductions at the Sharjah Archaeology Museum include a 7,000-year-old necklace found in the Al-Buhais 18 cemetery and a rectangular soft-stone box from between 2500 and 2000 B.C.
Guides will lead the tactile tours. Next year, more replicas will be added. The project fits with the organization’s goals to help disabled persons and inclusiveness, according to Manal Ataya, the authority’s director-general.
“At SMA, we aim to provide an accessible and more inclusive museum experience for people with all disabilities by offering them equal access to our museums, displays, and programs,” added Ataya.
SMA launched various programs for people with disabilities, including an autism-friendly museum project in 2018.
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