Press Release – Breaking Down Barriers with a New Museum Network

DCN - Signing of Memorandum © Iain Duncan/RAF Museum

DATE: 26th October 2015
Heritage and Culture Warwickshire is a lead partner in a new initiative,  working together with Leicester University School of Museum Studies and the Horniman Museum and Gardens, London and RAF Museum, Hendon.

The Disability Co-operative Network aims to share knowledge from around and beyond the Heritage sector to break down barriers for people with disabilities. DCNs website includes participants such as the BBC, Access Portugal, Liverpool Museums, DASH arts, Dyspraxia Foundation, The Whitworth and Indianapolis Museum of Art. It is thought to be the only offer of its kind.

DCN - Steering Group © Iain Duncan/RAF Museum
DCN – Steering Group © Iain Duncan/RAF Museum

We want to hear from charities, organisations and museums who would like to share their work with our platform, to raise awareness and the profile of disability within Heritage and Culture.

The network concept was recently selected as part of the national Transformers scheme run by the Museums Association.

Michelle Alexander, Manager of Museums and Natural Environment said “I was extremely pleased to sign the Memorandum of Understanding on behalf of Warwickshire Museums. This is a very worthwhile initiative which I hope will grow and expand further in the future across more cultural organisations.”

Maggie Appleton, CEO of the RAF Museum said “Our museum is committed to increasing access and engaging audiences with the RAF’s story and we are passionate about sharing what we have learnt, to enable other organisations to benefit – as this makes for a more inclusive society. I am therefore delighted to be representing the Museum in this initiative and look forward to developing our relationship with other organisations.”

Julia Cort, Community Learning Manager at Horniman Museum and Gardens said, “The Horniman is really excited to be involved in this initiative. It is a great opportunity to support other organisations and learn from the fantastic practice that currently exists in the sector. I encourage as many people as possible to get involved.”

Professor Richard Sandell from the School of Museum Studies, Leicester University said “In recent years we’ve seen exciting pockets of innovation in opening up museums to previously underserved audiences. At the same time, however, commitment to advancing the cultural rights of disabled people remains uneven across the sector and many museums continue to miss opportunities to create more inclusive experiences for all. At this time there is a pressing need for the DCN that can support museums to work collaboratively with disabled people to embed access for all at the heart of their practice.”



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About Heritage and Culture Warwickshire
Heritage and Culture Warwickshire manages museums, archives, arts, archaeology, learning and community engagement, as part of Warwickshire County Council. We provide a wide range of services that help local communities and visitors to connect and engage with their local heritage. We aim to safeguard Warwickshire’s archives, history and natural sciences, protect its historic and natural environment and provide high quality arts and cultural opportunities and lifelong learning for everyone in the County and beyond.

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