Multimedia and Accessible Museum Guides: The GVAM Prototype for the Dress Museum of Madrid

By Jaime Solano Ramírez, Francisco Utray, Maria del Carmen Galvez de la Cuesta and Jose Luis Pajares.

Published by The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

At present, people with sensory disabilities may not have equal access to the contents exhibited in a museum: for example a blind person can’t access to a painting or to the information panels, as well as a deaf person can’t pay attention to the verbal explanations in a guide, or to the voiceover of projected videos. in addition to this, we’ve to consider the difficulty that represents having to move through the different rooms, or keeping in touch with the museum staff for assistance. Museums, as cultural institutions, have entrusted the task of the preservation and the spreading of the cultural heritage for all, providing both physical and intellectual access. The GVAM project aims to create an ICT solution through a portable device that is fully accessible and interactive, allowing its use by people with or without disabilities.
The first prototype is based on three approaches:
- Software for the global management of all the multimedia and interactive content.
- Portable device with a high degree of flexibility, implemented with an easy navigation and configuration, towards a universal accessibility.
- High accuracy positioning system and wireless connectivity networks. In turn, GVAM also raised as a priority objective the development of a Best Practices Guide, as a key component to ensure that these guides comply from now on with the requirements of the Universal Design.

Keywords: Museum Guides, CMS, Accessibility, Universal Design, Mobile Devices, Locative Media, Context-Aware

International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp.97-102. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 671.484KB).

Jaime Solano Ramírez

Associate Professor, Department of Communication and Visual Arts, Carlos III University, Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Jaime Solano has been the Product Manager of The Seagram Group in Spain during five years till 1995, and a Associate Professor in the Camilo José Cela University till 2005. Now he is the Chief Executive Officer of the Dos de Mayo Productions Company, and a Associate Professor in the Communication and Visual Arts Department of the Carlos III University of Madrid with a PhD in the same department. He has been involved in several ICT research projects financed by institutions like the Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs and the Ministry of Infrastructures and Transportation, both of Spain, as well as by other Universities like the Complutense and Granada Universities. He is the main responsible of the GVAM project funded by the Spanish Ministry of Technology, in a cooperation between Dos de Mayo Productions, the Carlos III University and the main association for disabilities in Spain, CNSE.

Francisco Utray

Associate Lecturer, Department of Communication and Visual Arts, Carlos III University, Madrid, Madrid, Spain

Associate Lecturer in Audiovisual Communication in the Universidad Carlos III of Madrid. He is the founder and director of the company “Formato Multimedia” where he carries out consultancy and multimedia production projects. He has previously held the position of Content Director in the TV service of Menta (Auna), the Cable platform of Cataluña. Since 1996 up to 1999 he was in charge of the definition and launching of interactive services in Canal Satélite Digital.

Maria del Carmen Galvez de la Cuesta

Associate Researcher, CESyA, Carlos III University, Madrid, Madrid, Spain

She is a Researcher for the accessibility area of the GVAM Project. She is graduated in History and Geography and DEA (Diploma of Advanced Studies) in Communications and Advertising of the Complutense University in Madrid. Executive Director of Learning 360, a company dedicated to educational innovation and ICT, she has been the Project Coordinator at the National Center for Information and Educational Community of the Education and Sciences Ministry of Spain, managing the production of content for digital educational programs in the School. As a teacher, she has designed and taught several courses in areas such as documentation and ICT in education, among others. Her current focus is the implementation of accessibility criteria to digital and educational content and the research on the influence of historic games in the process of teaching and learning.

Jose Luis Pajares

Reasearch Assistant, Computer Department, Carlos III University, Madrid, Madrid, Spain

He is an Associate Professor of ‘Art and Digital Culture’ in the European Institute of Design Madrid and a Research Assistant in the Carlos II University for the CESyA National Research Center. He is a PhD candidate at the Department of Sociology IV of the Information Sciences Faculty of the Complutense University of Madrid. He has been a visiting professor and project assistant in the Master of Art and New Technologies and in the Master in Production Design for Film and Audiovisual Media of the European University of Madrid. He has been a spatial and interactive designer in the communication agency Laformula and as a freelance, and the Resources Coordinator of the Medialab Madrid. He obtained a European grant at the Medialab UIAH/TAIK Helsinki.

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