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On June 1, 2022, on the International Children's Day, the Dara Charitable Foundation together with museums across Kazakhstan: The East Kazakhstan Regional Museum of Fine Arts named after the Nevzorov Family in Semey, the Karaganda Regional Museum of Fine Arts, the Pavlodar Regional Art Museum, the Museum of Art and Decorative and Applied Arts named after. Shaimardan Sariev in Atyrau (hereinafter – Museums) held a presentation - the results of the project "Opening the world: creating an accessible environment in museums of Kazakhstan".


The purpose of this project is to help blind and visually impaired children, as well as adults, get acquainted with works of art with the help of a special verbal description (audio description) and tactile models.


By the way, audio description is one of the most important means of transmitting information to a blind person: a verbal description of an object or phenomenon that helps him feel that he is not missing anything important in life.


The Dara Foundation proceeds from the firm belief that all children have an equal right to education and development and strives to improve the quality of life of children with special educational needs. The idea of preparing an audio description of museum exhibits is only part of a large project "Opening the World", the purpose of which is to provide access to knowledge, creativity, cultural and spiritual heritage of our country for children with special educational needs for blind and visually impaired children.


As part of a joint project with Museums, audio descriptions covered more than 90 works of art in Russian and Kazakh. Fine and applied art of Kazakhstan, CIS countries and Russia, as well as works of Western Europe are presented. During the preparation of the audio recording, the content and description of the exhibits were very delicately worked out, words were used that would be understandable and accessible, as well as interesting to the children's audience and at the same time would allow to convey the beauty of the object exhibited by the museum as much as possible. Also, the museum buildings themselves and the street approaches to it have acquired a verbal description. The total duration of the audio tracks was more than 10 hours.


Additionally, more than 20 tactile models were made by local sculptors-artists in a planar volume for Museums that maximally convey the image of the exhibits. Also, for the first time in Kazakhstan, 2 and 3D tactile models of paintings made for the East Kazakhstan Regional Museum of Fine Arts named after the Nevzorov family will be presented.


It is also important that within the framework of the project, blind accessibility experts were involved, museum staff were trained to work with blind and visually impaired visitors as part of field trainings with employees of the Dara Foundation. I would also like to note that the texts for the paintings and exhibits were prepared by professional audio descriptors - employees of the Gala Global Group company who received special training.


The results of the project prove that audio transcription should become an obligatory element of the life of our society. It is necessary to engage in audio transcription of feature films, cartoons, theatrical performances, sports and mass spectacles, concerts. We come to understand that in the future, cultural and sports organizations need to include in their strategic plan’s issues of accessibility and universal design, considering the difference in human capabilities as the norm.


It is important to note that funds for the implementation of the project for the preparation of audio descriptions in the above–mentioned museums were collected thanks to the charity auction "DaraBilim" held in the summer of 2021, and in Atyrau - with the support of PricewaterhouseCooper LLP. The auction was attended by public figures, opinion leaders, business representatives, and ordinary compatriots with an active civic position and a desire to help. It is noteworthy that in addition to professional speakers, well-known countrymen of each region, as well as more than 70 invited friends and sponsors of the Dara Foundation were involved in recording the audio transcription.


For reference:


The Dara Foundation is a charitable private foundation implementing projects aimed at improving the living conditions and expanding the development opportunities of children with special educational needs and children in orphanages, as well as the development of inclusion in Kazakhstan.


The DaraBilim Auction is an annual charity auction of the Dara Foundation, the purpose of which is to collect donations for systemic projects whose beneficiaries are children with special educational needs and orphans.


The East Kazakhstan Region Museum of Fine Arts named after the Nevzorov Family is one of the largest art museums in the country and a leading research and cultural and educational center in the field of fine arts.


The Pavlodar Regional Art Museum is a 1965 museum dedicated to Kazakh painting, sculpture and crafts.


The Karaganda Regional Museum of Fine Arts is the owner of the "golden" collection of works by famous repressed artists and a leading research and cultural and educational center in the field of fine arts.


Museum of Art and Decorative and Applied Arts named after Shaimardan Sariev Atyrau – - is the cultural and educational center of the region. The main goal of the museum is the comprehensive systematic implementation of various types of activities (stock, scientific, informational) aimed at preserving and popularizing works of Kazakh art for a wide audience.


Gala Global Group LLP is a leading company with the widest range of translation services in Kazakhstan, and has been operating since 2006. Provides professional translation services from 86 languages of the world and participates in digital accessibility projects. Certified according to the ST RK ISO 9001:2016.


Photo report from the event at the link  

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