The Market Lavington Museum

Access Policy Statement 2015

Policy review procedure:

We will review the access policy every three years to ensure it is in line with national guidelines and standards.

The Museum will incorporate actions that arise from this policy in its three year forward plan.

This policy is due for review on: March 2015

1. MISSION STATEMENT

The Museum seeks to collect and interpret items that celebrate the history of Market Lavington and Easterton and is committed to encouraging participation in cultural activities by local communities and visitors, for the benefit and enjoyment of all.

2. OUR DEFINITION OF ACCESS

The Market Lavington Museum recognises there are many barriers to access at all levels of the museum service. However we believe that all people have a fundamental right to engage with, use and enjoy the service.

We define access as something that is made possible when physical, cultural, social, financial, intellectual, psychological and emotional barriers are removed or reduced.

3. OUR COMMITMENT TO ACCESSIBILITY

The Market Lavington Museum aims to provide the widest possible access to its museum, collections and services to enable audiences from all sections of the community to enjoy use of the museum. We will provide access to services in the wider community and within the museum we will aim to provide independent use wherever possible.

Our policy is to build accessibility into everything we do to develop and improve the service. Our commitment is long term and our policy is to make continuous improvements as our resources permit.

Our commitment to accessibility extends to our volunteers as well as visitors.

We are committed to ongoing training in access issues for our volunteers.

To eliminate barriers and ensure equality of access we will consider the following forms of accessibility:

·         Physical – to enable people with physical disabilities to reach and appreciate every part of the museum. To take into account the needs of the elderly and of people caring for young people.

·         Sensory – to enable visitors with impaired vision or hearing to enjoy the museum’s building and collections.

·         Intellectual – we recognise that people have different learning styles and we will provide interpretation in a range of learning styles. We also aim to ensure people with learning difficulties can engage with and enjoy the museum and the collections.

·         Cultural – to consider the needs of people for whom English is not a first language, or whose knowledge of English history and culture may be limited.

·         Attitudinal / Emotional – to ensure the museum environment and museum staff are welcoming to visitors from all sections of the community. We will also aim to ensure people of Market Lavington and Easterton feel the museum is of significance to them.

4. MUSEUM BUILDING

We aim to provide equal access to the Museum and our facilities for all visitors. It must be appreciated that as a 1846 building some physical adaptations are impossible to undertake. Nevertheless we are constantly working towards improving the facilities available to visitors with disabilities. We actively try to make our collections accessible even when our buildings are not, through a policy of bringing the collections to people who have physical disabilities.

5. ACCESS TO COLLECTIONS

Our staff are committed to increasing public access to the collections and information and to increasing knowledge and understanding of Market Lavington and Easterton.

We will provide varied means of access to the collections, including displays, handling sessions, outreach sessions, publications and events.

To increase access to the collections not on display we offer behind the scenes tours, web-based resources and access to volunteers

We will provide levels of information and interpretation to suit a range of audiences and abilities. We will ensure that the presentation and labelling of displays respects a diversity of background.

We will develop our handling collections and loans.

6. ACCESS TO LEARNING

The Market Lavington Museum will provide learning opportunities for different audiences and levels of ability and tailor our programme to the needs of specific groups. We will provide education programmes for all our temporary and permanent displays to interpret the collections for people from a range of backgrounds and abilities. We will identify and develop partnerships with a range of educational and community organisations to ensure that our activities continue to cater for the widest possible audiences.

7. ACCESS TO VISITOR SERVICES

Our stewards will assist and welcome all visitors. They will be available to help people understand and enjoy the collections.

We will consider the comfort of our visitors by providing toilets in the nearby Old School.

We will develop appropriate signage and navigation tools to suit a range of audiences.

8. ACCESS TO COMMUNICATION

We will develop publicity material on request in alternative formats for a range of needs and languages.

We will provide a range of ways that people can communicate with us.

We will evaluate all our services and projects to ensure they meet the provision of this policy and we will consult users and non-users on all new developments.