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G3ict Partners with ICOM Russia to Promote More Inclusive Museums

G3ict to collaborate with Russian National Committee of the International Council of Museums (ICOM) to advance the use of technology for more accessible museums and greater digital inclusion for more than 11 million persons with disabilities across Russia.

ATLANTA and MOSCOW (May 18, 2020) —

The Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict), an international nonprofit with a history of leadership in digital inclusion and human rights, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Russian National Committee of the International Council of Museums (ICOM), an international organization of museums and museum professionals committed to the conservation, continuation, and promotion of the world's natural and cultural heritage. The two organizations share the commitment to the ideals of accessibility of public institutions for all categories of citizens.

Today’s agreement comes at the International Museums Day with the theme “Museums for Equality: Diversity and Inclusion” and on the eve of the Global Accessibility Awareness Day.

“We consider partnership with G3ict as a step forward in the development of our programs and projects for the promotion of accessibility of museums and collections for diverse audiences,” said Alexander Sholokhov, ICOM Russia President. “Our interaction will allow us to bring to Russia the best international experience in implementing digital accessibility and assistive technologies in the activities of our cultural institutions.”

G3ict and ICOM Russia will partner to develop and make available growing knowledge and techniques for creating a digital space accessible to all and using digital inclusion practices in museum activities. The two organizations will jointly leverage their respective programs, global networks, research, and collaborative tools to support this work.

“G3ict is committed to using the digital transformation of our world to support greater inclusion, including in museums,” said James Thurston, Vice President of G3ict. “We are proud to partner with ICOM in Russia, a country with an amazing richness of cultural institutions, to close the digital divide for persons with disabilities.”

Today, as a first collaborative project, G3ict and ICOM Russia announced they would survey museums across Russia about how technology is currently deployed to support key museum services and what are the implications for persons with disabilities. It is envisaged that the survey and its finding will be made public in a report in fall of 2020 and will inform both the guidelines on digital inclusion in the museum industry and the development of the new benchmarking and assessment tool to measure the state of digital inclusion in the museums of Russia.

“This new collaboration, including the survey project with ICOM Russia, builds on an existing ICOM Russia project “Inclusive Museum”, the activities of its Council for Digital Development of Museums, and the overall movement towards better accessibility of the museums in Russia”, underlines Yulia Sarviro, G3ict Senior Project Manager. “G3ict and its global partners bring in extensive experience and expertise to help museum industry in Russia to define the challenges and opportunities that its digital transformation present to persons with disabilities.”

“We are consciously moving towards the digital development which is inextricably linked to the aspect of digital accessibility of all areas of the museum activities”, says Vladimir Opredelenov, Deputy Director of the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts. “We welcome the start of the cooperation between ICOM Russia and G3ict and hope for more conscious and rapid development of the mentioned areas both within each museum and between institutions, with the support of global communities and initiatives at the international level.”


About G3ict

G3ict – the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies – is an advocacy initiative launched in December 2006, in cooperation with the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at UN DESA. Its mission is to facilitate and support the implementation of the dispositions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) promoting digital accessibility and Assistive Technologies. Participating organizations include industry, academia, the public sector and organizations representing persons with disabilities. G3ict promotes good practices in digital accessibility policies and programs and provides tools for advocates around the world, including its Digital Accessibility Rights Evaluation Index (DARE Index) designed to benchmark countries progress. Through its division IAAP, the International Association of Accessibility Professionals, G3ict offers professional development resources and certification to more than 2,000 members in 46 countries. Since 2011, G3ict organizes the M-Enabling Summit in cooperation with E.J. Krause and Associates which promotes innovation in accessible technologies and environments. For more information, please visit the G3ict website.

About ICOM Russia

Russian committee of the International council of Museum (ICOM Russia) is a National Committee of the international non-government organization of museums and museum professionals which is committed to the research, conservation, continuation and communication to society of the world’s natural and cultural heritage, present and future, tangible and intangible. ICOM unites more than 45,000 members from 138 countries, 118 National and 32 international committees. ICOM Russia regularly organizes international, national and regional events on the territory of the Russian Federation and abroad.

ICOM Russia actively participates in the socio-political life of the country: it develops and discusses draft laws and regulations in the field of culture and museum affairs, carries out expert missions to the regions of the country in order to assist museums and museum employees, gives expert opinions on the concept of the development of museums and the sphere of culture. ICOM Russia pays

special attention to the following thematic areas: development of accessibility of museums and collections for all categories of visitors; ensuring the safety of museums and collections; digital development; museums’ interaction with local communities; museums’ partnership with cultural industries; interpretation of dissonant heritage and mediation of modern socio-political conflicts. More information is available on the ICOM Russia website.

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Contacts

Udita Singh, Communications Manager, G3ict, udita.singh@g3ict.org

Daria Strakhova, Project Assistant, ICOM Russia, d.strakhova@icom-russia.com