What is the ARCHES project?
Accessible Resources for Cultural Heritage EcoSystems (ARCHES) is a Horizon 2020 funded project involving partners in heritage and technology across Europe.
The Open University is leading the research part of this project; helping to establish a range of participatory research groups with people who have differences and difficulties with perception, memory, cognition and communication.
ARCHES is a 3 year project, that started in October 2016. It will help to develop online resources, software applications and multi-sensory technologies to enable access to Cultural Heritage Sites within and beyond the project.
The project has 3 phases: Phase 1 will involve developing new technologies, Phase 2 will involve testing and redeveloping these technologies and Phase 3 will involve checking the new technologies are ready for other people to use.
My trip to take part in the ARCHES project
Supported by Andy from Mencap, I travelled on the train from Reading to London Paddington to attend the ARCHES project. The project is about how we can improve museums for people with disabilities.
We're learning about technology and how we can use new technologies to improve the experience of people with disabilities. We're using tablets and voice recorders, as well as making notes.
The project meeting was held at the V&A and The Wallace Collection in London. There was around 20 of us with different disabilities and our support workers.
This is the second time I've attended a project meeting for ARCHES. At first I was nervous, but I've made new friends and met people who understand the way to speak to me and how to help me.
I really like that I am learning new things and that I'm meeting with people who have lots of different ideas.
The days are planned out really well; we go through what we've learnt and liked about previous sessions, and what we plan to do for the current session.
I got to go round parts of the museums and pick out the parts that I liked and didn't like. I've found that I like to take pictures of the items, and also record my thoughts on a tape player. I think that's because I feel that I don't remember everything on my own, and I sometimes feel shy when saying what I like and don't like.
The project is making me come out of my shell. I feel I have more confidence now, and it gives me something to focus on. Before I went there I was really scared and shy of meeting and communicating with new people and going to new places.
I want to see the project focusing on different people with disabilities. I am interested in the project because I hadn't been to many museums before and there wasn't much to access for someone with a disability.
I'm glad I'm involved in something like ARCHES and am able to make a difference. I'm really interested to see the progress being made.
Find out more
To find out more about the ARCHES project visit arches-project.eu or watch the video below