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African Art

How often have you heard, "look but don’t touch" when visiting a museum? Well, SIU Carbondale’s University Museum recently invited a group of visitors to touch as much as they wanted in an exciting new pilot project to open up the world of museums to the blind and visually impaired. The University Museum, the Southern Illinois Radio Information Service operated by WSIU Public Broadcasting, and SIUC’s Disability Support Services, developed the project to make the Museum’s Neher (Nair) collection of African Art more accessible to the blind and visually impaired. Participants in the exhibit use a portable CD player and headset to learn about the exhibit, with guidance provided by students from SIUC’s Disability Support Services. The Exhibit was made possible by a grant from the Carbondale Community Arts Fund. Producer Jak Tichenor says it’s hoped this will be the first of many such exhibits for people who don’t normally get to enjoy the museum experience.

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