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Socially Accessible at Peterborough Museum & Art Gallery

Socially Accessible, the latest exhibition at Peterborough Museum & Art Gallery, opened last month in the Community Gallery.

This engaging exhibition focuses on a 50-year period where organisations pushed, not only for legislative change but a change in attitudes towards disabled people. Socially Accessible, has been developed in partnership with Peterborough’s Disability Forum facilitated by Peterborough Council for Voluntary Services (PCVS), with particular support from RNIB, Scope, and Shine, along with contributions from other groups and individuals, to bring this unique exhibition together.

PCVS is really pleased to have been involved in the development of this exhibition at Peterborough Museum with members of the Disability Forum, and sector colleagues. Personally I’ve learned so much about respect and human rights, and about disabling behaviours, attitudes and structures. Most of all I’ve learned I have lots more to learn, and there is so much more for us all to do. When we try to improve accessibility and inclusion everyone benefits.’

Gill Benedikz, from PCVS

‘Shine is delighted to be involved in the Socially Accessible exhibition. Many of our members with Spina Bifida and / or Hydrocephalus have witnessed important legislative changes over the past 50 years, however there is still more to be done to change social attitudes which is highlighted in our Non Visible Disabilities video, just one of the many exciting and informative exhibits you can experience as part of the exhibition.’

The charity, Shine

A highlight of the exhibition is the inclusion of past Paralympic Games artefacts loaned from the National Paralympic Heritage Trust, such as, the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games torch, the 2022 Beijing Winter Games torch, competition shirts worn and signed by well-known athletes and a World Wheelchair Games gold medal from the 1984 Bowling Paralympic Games, belonging to Paralympic bowler Yvonne Matt.

Socially Accessible also coincides with Disability History Month (16 Nov – 16 Dec) which this year ‘focusses on the Experience of Disablement amongst children and young people in the past, now and what is needed for the future’. Sunday 3 Dec sees the annual observance of the International Day of Persons with Disability. Additionally, the Museum will be open for Shh Sunday (Open 11am – 2pm, every first Sunday of the month), ideal for visitors with sensory needs or who may prefer a calmer experience.  

Alongside the exhibition, Peterborough Museum will be running a series of free additional activities. Join the Tour for All (4 Nov or 3 Dec), an accessible historical city tour, led by an experienced tour guide, or drop-in to try an Inclusive Sports session (2 Nov, 2:30 – 4:30pm) delivered by Matt Taylor from Vivacity Leisure.

The exhibition is free to visit and open until 22 Dec 2023.   

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