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Social inclusion in Archaeological Open Air Museums

Sunday, 1 September, 2013 to Tuesday, 1 September, 2015
Organised by: 
Marc van Hasselt
Number of Participants / Visitors / Audience: 
50-60 yearly (visually impaired); 10-15 weekly (Ipse de Bruggen clients)

As part of the Dialogue with the Visitor, Archeon has made an effort to show how important social inclusion is for AOAM. In this article two case studies shall be presented, both related to accessibility.

The first is a group of visually impaired visitors, who visited Archeon in september 2013. As part of their visit, Archeon analysed the accessibility of the site for the visually impaired. A version of the park guide was produced in braille and a special tour prepared. But the experience was also meant to include the everyday activities and shows that all visitors experience. A report was made on the visit and used to improve the visitor experience and accessibility of the site. The press was invited and showed a keen interest in this example of social inclusion.

After this first visit, more have followed. Currently, around 4-5 groups visit Archeon yearly, totalling between 50 and 60 visually impaired visitors yearly (not counting day trip visitors).

The second case study is the cooperation between Archeon and an institute called Ipse de Bruggen (, a care organisation specialised in mentally handicapped people. A group of their clients help out on the site (between 5 and 10, for 3-4 days per week, throughout the year), taking care of the greenery and generally helping keep the site presentable, as well as interacting with the public. Many of them have become a core part of the Archeon volunteer team and are on site most days of the week.