How can the Van Gogh Museum improve accessibility for visitors with a physical or sensory disability? The museum is working hard to address this question in a long-term project entitled ‘Accessible Van Gogh’.
The Van Gogh Museum is actively striving to make the museum more accessible to visitors with a physical or sensory disability. Accessibility is a key aspect of the museum’s mission.
In order to improve accessibility at the museum, we collaborate closely with the target group: deaf visitors and the hard of hearing, blind and partially-sighted visitors and visitors who use mobility aids. We also conduct research into their requirements and join forces with organisations with specific expertise in the field of accessibility.
Deaf visitors and the hard of hearing
Wherever possible, the museum takes deaf visitors and the hard of hearing into account in its communications. A film introducing Van Gogh’s life is screened in the auditorium, accompanied by Dutch Sigh Language. A number of films on the educational platform Van Gogh at School are also available with Dutch Sign Language. Several times a year, the Van Gogh Museum also offers free guided tours in sign language. These guided tours are held by deaf tour guides.
Want to know more about how the Van Gogh Museum works on accessibility for the hard of hearing and deaf visitors? Read "Listening with your eyes", published in The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum.
Blind and partially-sighted visitors
Feeling Van Gogh was launched in 2015. This free programme is designed especially for blind and partially-sighted visitors and their seeing friends and family members. The successful programme consists of a guided tour of the permanent collection including a touch session in the museum’s workshop studio. Special guided tours are also organised during temporary exhibitions.
In 2016, Feeling Van Gogh and a 3D reproduction of the painting Sunflowers were given a permanent place in the museum. The museum’s ‘sensory wall’ allows all visitors to feel, smell and listen to Van Gogh’s art.
Visitors using mobility aids
In 2016, the National Association de Zonnebloem) conducted research exploring how accessible the Van Gogh Museum is for people with a physical disability. This report brought areas for improvement to light and allowed the museum to address several issues. De Zonnebloem conducted follow-up research in 2018 to monitor the changes.
Looking to contribute?
The Van Gogh Museum learns what works by remaining in consultation with the target group and experts in the field. If you would like to share an idea with us, or if you would like to contribute to improving accessibility at the museum, please get in touch by sending an email to email@example.com.
Read the Education Policy Plan to find out more: