Arts Council England is supporting two major museum projects to support the Paralympic Games. CultureLink is a joint programme by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) to enable blind and partially sighted people to have greater access to museums and heritage sites and play a greater role in the Cultural Olympiad. The Mandeville Legacy is a project that celebrates Buckinghamshire as the birthplace of the Paralympic movement.

CultureLink

CultureLink was a joint programme by RNIB and the MLA to enable blind and partially sighted people to have greater access to museums and heritage sites and play a greater role in the Cultural Olympiad.

The programme matched local volunteers with blind and partially sighted people and provided training in guiding and descriptive skills. A progamme of visits and associated activities developed new audiences and skills for participating museums and combated exclusion of blind and partially sighted people. CultureLink was also granted the London 2012 Inspire Mark.

CultureLink developed an advice guide called Shifting Perspectives about how to ensure museums and galleries are accessible to blind and partially sighted people. Shifting Perspectives includes tips on audio describing exhibits, marketing events for blind and partially sighted people and making information accessible, as well as how to create tactile images and touch tours. The guide also documents case studies and personal anecdotes on how other organisations have benefited from this advice and put them into practice.

Shifting Perspectives can be downloaded from the RNIB website.

Mandeville Legacy project

The Mandeville Legacy is a project that is celebrating Buckinghamshire as the birthplace of the Paralympic movement. Led by Buckinghamshire County Council, it is part of a South East programme called Accentuate, which is funded by Legacy Trust UK and SEEDA - which are creating a cultural and sporting legacy from the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Accentuate is a transformational programme inspired by the Paralympic movement, which seeks to change perceptions and offer opportunities to showcase the talents of Deaf and disabled people.

In the lead up to London 2012, the Mandeville Legacy project will celebrate the birth of the Paralympic movement at Stoke Mandeville through a range of activities involving past and present Paralympians, disabled artists, school children, young people and local residents.

All related projects will be featured on a dedicated website, which incorporates personal stories, historical records, interpretations, memories and much more.