CHENNAI: The Directorate for Welfare of the Differently-abled at Kamarajar Salai has constructed Museum of Possibilities, a prototype that will demonstrate assistive technology for persons with disabilities (PwD). The museum is soon to be inaugurated by Chief Minister MK Stalin.
Vidya Sagar, a city-based non-profit that works for the welfare of PwDs, has also collaborated with the State department. Poonam Natarajan, founder of Vidya Sagar, says that the prototype has been set up in a live-workplay module. “Every inch of the museum has been crafted for PwDs. The prototype was set up to create awareness among PwDs, their families and the public too. It has been primarily built using assistive technology that a disabled person will need to lead an independent life.”
Further, the team working in the museum says it’s trying to encourage interaction with users, creators and innovators. “Over time, the museum can become a research and network hub, where requirements of the disabled can be effectively discussed and met,” they claim. The museum urges visitors from across the city and State, and also PwDs to try accessible solutions at the premises. To guide them well, the museum will include a therapist, museum assistants and an Alternative and Augmentative Communication (ACC) expert. The government department states that the museum was planned and executed as a domain specific model, rather than a disability-specific model.
The ‘Live Domain’ includes a model accessible home with universal design elements and assistive devices available across the country for each part of the house such as living room, kitchen, dining room, bedroom and washroom. In the ‘Work Domain’ communication, education, vocational and customised workplace solutions are included. Additionally, a specific focus is placed on ACC. Lastly, the ‘Play Domain’ includes leisure activities like gardening, sports, arts and music.
Speaking about the digital initiative, Poonam said, “A website and mobile app is developed for the museum, which will help visitors experience the museum at the comfort of their place. They can tour the museum with the means of audio guidance. Every exhibit inside the museum has been embedded with a QR code. This is specifically done for PwDs so that they can access information by scanning it through the app, which will deliver results in image, text, audio and sign language.”
Lastly, a museum café is also opened, which also serves as a skill development centre dedicated to training adults with disabilities.
The government department states that the museum was planned and executed as a domain specific model, rather than a disability specific model.