Tactual Museum of AthensIn 1983, the president of the Lighthouse for the Blind, Protopapadaki L. and the managing director Kefakis Manolis, were looking for a way that would give visually impaired people the opportunity to come in touch with ancient greek Culture. The first artefacts were bought by Lighthouse, followed by several donations by suppporting organizations and others. At the same time it was realized that the ability to touch and feel the exhibits was an excellent new way of approaching the ancient greek civilization not only for blind but for sighted people, too. Tactual Museum was founded in 1984, and housed on a two-floor neo-classical building, on Doiranis Street 198, Kallithea, donated by Empeirikos to the Lighthouse for the Blind of Greece. It is one of 4-5 Museums of its kind in the world. The main difference between the Tactual Museum and other Museums is the opportunity for all visitors to touch all the Exhibitsthat are copies of the originals displayed in other museums of our country. The Tactual Museum belongs to the Lighthouse for the Blind of Greece. Mrs Georgia Roukoutaki, member of LightHouse's Board of Directors is in charge of the developement, operation and promotion of the Museum.
- Education (Workshops)
Εducational programs for children aged 6 - 12, can take place upon request.
The children are urged to touch and feel the exhibits and try to conceptualize the sculptures by touch. The use of masks during the educational games help the sighted children have a better understanding of the problems visually-impaired individuals encounter.
Εducational programs are also available upon request on the weekends.
Participation : By telephone 210 - 941 5222, Monday-Friday, 9:00-13:00
or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org to the Lighthouse for the Blind.
At the Tactual Museum, programs for educating teachers in Interpretation of seminars are offered. The program is directed at teachers of pre-school and elementary school.
Children from elementary and secondary schools are able to visit the Tactual Museum after their teacher/escort arranges the visit (communicates) with the Management of the museum. To prepare for the visit the teacher/escort is encouraged to obtain relevant support materials from the Management of the museum. Educational Seminars/Tours are organized during the Christmas and Easter holidays for those instructors who wish to present the Tactual Museum to their students themselves.
"Touching the ancient times"
The resumption of this program is among the priorities of the Management of the Lighthouse for the Blind of Greece.
The program took place before the 1999 earthquake and both blind and sighted children ages 11-15 participated. A mobility specialist gave the sighted children masks and canes and showed them how to move and how to conceptualize the sculptures by touch, giving them a better understanding of what it is like to be blind. An archeologist showed them how an archeological excavation is done, using a big box of sand in which ancient objects were hidden. Once an object was found, a master of casts showed them how copies of the sculptures were made from the originals.
- For handicapped individuals (Complementary Offer)
The Museum is accessible to people with mobility problems, via the ramp, next to the main entrance of the building Access to the second floor by use of stair elevator, donated by the Bank of Greece.
Visually impaired individuals
Tactual Museum is the best place for visually impaired individuals, to come in touch with ancient greek culture.
To help visitors obtain the information they require regarding the exhibits, an automatic tour guide has been created in both Greek and English. There are also descriptive signs written in Braille and enlarged letters for partially sighted individuals.
With the Greek Parliament subsidy, foreign languages lists of exhibits will be printed in Braille.
Olympic Games Education
Besides the Olympic Games Exhibition there exist information material printed in Braille regarding the Olympic games and the Paraolympics, as well as relief maps of Athens with the Olympic Facilities pointed out, made by the artist Maria Veropoulou.