Audioriver without barriers!
We are launching an educational campaign dedicated to people with disabilities. Culture Without Barriers Foundation is a partner of the project.
Audioriver takes up the issue of accessibility of music festivals for people with disabilities. In cooperation with the Culture Without Barriers Foundation, we have conducted interviews so that we all – the organizers and participants – can better understand the needs of people with hearing, vision, or physical impairment. The action is held as part of the Audiohome project.
People with disabilities are often excluded from festival life. This is caused mostly by architectural conditions, such as difficulty to move on the ground or lack of ramps, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. Other times it is the crowd, the uncertainty that arises when one finds oneself in a large gathering of people. It could also be that the barrier is the careless reactions of some festival attendees.
The comfort of experiencing music
Our guests point out that sometimes seemingly small things can increase their comfort of experiencing music. One example is the use of an induction loop, a tool that improves the quality of the received sound. A person with a hearing aid equipped with a loop receiver hears clear sound directly from the speakers. This is ideal for hearing-impaired people who can’t fully enjoy the music at concerts.
“At first, I was afraid to go to Audioriver at all because after all there is a beach, sand, how would I handle it? It was my friends who talked me into it, and it turned out that I was able to do it (…) In my opinion, if something isn’t right, you have to show it to the organizer, because they are usually unaware of it. This was the case with Audioriver and the lack of sidewalks at the beginning, which would have allowed me to use a wheelchair to get to the stage. I was able to get closer to the music and closer to the people. It was something awesome” – Mariusz Korzeniecki, Audioriver participant.
Culture for everyone
The Culture Without Barriers Foundation was initiated as a platform for the inclusion of people with disabilities in cultural and social life. The basic assumption is that everyone – regardless of disability, material, or family situation – has the opportunity to systematically and independently participate in culture. As part of its activities, the Foundation conducts training on accessibility and organizes events on its own. It develops audio descriptions and subtitles for the deaf, provides induction loop and sign language interpreting.
Feel like home
Audiohome is a project in which we would like to pay attention to issues of security, tolerance, human rights, exclusions, or the social role of festivals. Starting in December 2020, Audioriver’s social media will include educational videos and interviews. The project involves artists and festival representatives, but also NGOs and experts. Such artists as Novika, Kamp!, AGIM, Aksamit, and Avtomat have spoken out on the topic of safety. Partners of the action include After Party, Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Poland, and Culture Without Barriers Foundation.