Memorial available for the deaf
Special films prepared by the PITAGORAS Development Association in cooperation with the Auschwitz Museum bring the history of the former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp closer to the deaf visiting the Auschwitz Memorial.
“The introduction of guide for the deaf constitutes an important extension of availability of the Memorial for this specific group of visitors. Our efforts have so far been concentrated on enabling the visitors to listen to the commentary of an educator in their mother language – that is why tours are available in nearly twenty languages. Now, thanks to the films recorded together with the comments in the Polish Sign Language, the public has been expanded even more”, said Andrzej Kacorzyk, Director of the International Center for Education about Auschwitz and the Holocaust.
“Especially here, on the grounds of the former German Nazi concentration and extermination camp, we should be doing as much as possible in order to help the disabled in learning about the meaning of the Auschwitz-Birkenau history and understanding it better. I am very pleased that apart from the publishing of the guide in Braille alphabet, we have also created this project aimed at the deaf”, emphasized Andrzej Kacorzyk.
“As a result of their disability, the deaf have limited access to the majority of museums. Very often they do not understand the descriptions of exhibits, as they are written in the Polish language, which differs significantly from the Polish Sign Language, natural for the deaf. That is why it is so important to make as much information as possible available in the sign language, thanks to which it will become fully understandable. We are glad that such an important Memorial as the Auschwitz Museum is becoming accessible for over 80,000 deaf from Poland”, said Piotr Krupa, President of the PITAGORAS Development Association.
In the Visitor Service Centre of the Museum it is possible to get a special leaflet with 10 QR codes printed. Having scanned a specific code, a deaf person will see a short video containing the description of a given place or exhibition.
The interpreter standing in authentic former camp space is presented in the film frame. He or she is interpreting the content presented by the Museum educator – all descriptions connected with the exposition as well as museum exhibits – into Polish Sign Language. In this way the visitor has the possibility to learn among others about the following topics: the Extermination of Jews, evidence of crime, prisoner’s life, accommodation conditions, terror in the camp, crematoria and gas chambers.
The films have been created as part of the project “Making museum resources available for the deaf” funded by the National Centre for Culture within the program Culture – Interventions 2015. The videos are also available free of charge at www.glusitv.pl.