First project for Deaf visitors in art museum

Mori Art Museum in Tokyo has carried out a tour with sign language interpretation for the Deaf since 2003. The Deaf visitors are eager to discuss.

February 21, 2012

Aiming at allowing the Deaf visitor to appreciate fine art more, the non-profit organization called "Able Art Japan (AAJ)," located in Tokyo will work on creation of fine-arts terms for the first time to discuss impression . Because of few signed vocabulary in the field of art in general, it is harder for the Deaf to understand the wonderfulness of fine arts.

AAJ started activity as the Japanese Art Culture Association for Persons with Disabilities in 1994, advocating the "Able Art Movement" which pursues the possibility of the art activities of persons with disabilities. It has arranged environment which is easy to access to the artists with disabilities, sale of their work , fine arts and the stage work.

According to the AAJ staff, it tends that the Deaf do not have any barrier on art appreciation, but in fact, since they can understand neither an auditory guide nor an introduction image without caption in the art museum, they may be unable to enjoy fine arts enough.

A few art museums have held a tour with sign language interpretation, which does not happen often. Also since there is little signed vocabulary for fine arts, and there is also no sign language glossary book on the fine-arts.

AAJ, funded with 2,500,000 yen (32,000 US$) by a private enterprises to support the civic activities, will research for over one year with cooperation of some art museums, and develop the program for  the Deaf to appreciate fine arts better. Moreover, it extracts important fine-arts terms and also creates appropriate signed vocabulary of fine arts so that the Deaf can discuss impression and comment each other.

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