Towards Inclusivity: Enhancing Access to Oman's Private Heritage House Museums for Individuals with Mobility Impairments
Keywords:Heritage house museums, disability, mobility impairment, inclusivity, accessibility, legislation, Oman
Objectives: This paper aims to investigate and assess the accessibility of Oman's private heritage house museums for individuals with mobility impairments. The study focuses on two case studies, namely Bait Al Zubair Museum and the Place and People Museum, to examine the level of inclusivity and the effectiveness of Omani legislation in addressing accessibility concerns.
Method: The research is conducted through a comprehensive analysis of the two selected case studies. Three main areas are investigated: (a) the accessibility provided for individuals with mobility impairments, (b) the relevance of Omani legislation concerning accessibility, and (c) the extent to which these historic sites align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) regarding inclusivity.
Results: The findings indicate that although Bait Al Zubair Museum has made efforts to accommodate individuals with mobility impairments in both its external and internal environment, there are still some challenges related to internal accessibility. On the other hand, the Place and People Museum faces significant obstacles both externally and internally, significantly impeding the enriching experience for visitors with mobility impairments. Furthermore, the study highlights that while existing Omani legislation emphasizes the rights of individuals with physical disabilities, it lacks specific legislative tools and policies dedicated to accessibility in museums and heritage sites.
Conclusions: This paper emphasizes the importance of enhancing inclusivity in Oman's Private Heritage House Museums for Individuals with Mobility Impairments. To achieve this, implementing comprehensive accessibility policies and collaborating with disability organizations are recommended. Additionally, creating educational programs on disability awareness can promote public understanding and sensitivity. By prioritizing inclusivity and accessibility, these museums can enrich cultural experiences for all visitors, fostering a sense of belonging and social cohesion. Aligning with the UN SDGs, such measures contribute to sustainable development and cultural preservation, ensuring equal opportunities for all individuals to access and appreciate the country's cultural heritage.
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