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LAINet news from Clare Barnes: 'Museums for All' seminar at Basing House

Clare Barnes, Learning Officer at the Mary Rose Museum and a member of Hampshire Solent LAINet (Learning Access and Interpretation Network) steering group, provides an update on the latest LAINet event, the 'Museums for all' seminar at Basing House:

Thanks to Basing House, Basingstoke for hosting the Access and Diversity Event at the end of September.

This collaboration between the MDO and LAINet (Learning, Access and Interpretation Network) provided an opportunity for attendees to hear the latest practice from museums in the region. Three case studies were delivered by the Royal Armouries Fort Nelson (working with young people with autism); CultureLink (access to archives for the visually-impaired) and the Mary Rose Museum (creating a diverse volunteer workforce through community outreach work).

Then we worked in two discussion groups. One explored the challenges of short-term project work; how do museums create sustainable opportunities and provide progression for participants once funding has stopped? The other looked at resources created by the Isle of Wight Heritage Service at Carisbrooke Castle Museum for visitors with autism and with visual impairment: such as talking books and pictogram-based guides.

The afternoon finished with a guided tour of Basing House which enabled the group to see examples of work to improve accessibility and discuss the particular issues faced by historic buildings and large outdoor sites.

Evaluation of the day showed that participants valued the mix of activities and the opportunity to share ideas with colleagues across the sector.

Want to get more involved with LAINet? The discussion will continue on LinkedIn and at future events. Search for ‘Hampshire Solent Museums LAINet.’ New topics for discussion, potential venues and ideas for inspirational speakers very welcome!

Materials from 'Museums for All' are available here. The next LAINet event, to take place in Spring 2015, will be a seminar on using digital technology in museum education. Details will be published via the Training calendar and newsletter.

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