Hull Maritime Museum

Hull’s Maritime Museum and NHS Trust to create bespoke accessibility symbols

Image: Hull Maritime Museum

The project, which is in the testing phase, is hoped to summarise key interpretation messages for those with communication difficulties.

A bespoke series of access symbols and phrases are to be tested with potential users at the Hull Maritime Museum.

The symbols are hoped to summarise key interpretation messages and provide additional context.

The project is led by Hull City Council’s Hull Maritime project and Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, and will see the set of symbols tested to improve access to the collections and artefacts within Hull Maritime Museum.

It is hoped that the symbols will provide better communication for people with learning disabilities, the Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND), English as a second language and dementia communities, as well as for those supporting people with low literacy levels.

The Speech and Language Therapy Team within the Community Team for Learning Disabilities will assist in testing the symbols and sharing feedback and advice with the Curator of Social and Maritime History and project exhibition designers, Haley Sharpe Design.

Councillor Mike Ross, Leader of Hull City Council, said: “The council-led Hull Maritime project wants to make sure everyone can access and enjoy our collections and heritage.

“It’s great that this trial will enable a greater level of understanding for many people who previously found it difficult to understand the stories and the meaning of artefacts.

“We want to take away any barriers that may prevent people enjoying our museums, so that more and more people can use them.”

Ali Falconer, Speech and Language Therapy Clinical Lead within Community Team for Learning Disabilities, Humber Teaching NHS Foundation Trust, said: “This project will help individuals with learning disabilities, autism and other communication difficulties to access the museum in a way that is so rarely provided, but is so very needed.”

The Grade II* listed, Hull Maritime Museum, is currently being refurbished as part of Hull Maritime, funded by Hull City Council and The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The project also includes a bespoke storage centre at Dock Office Chambers, the restoration of the Spurn Lightship, the creation of a new visitor attraction at the North End Shipyard which will become the new home of the Arctic Corsair.

Last month Hull City Council was awarded £150,000 from The Wolfson Foundation to support the refurbishment of the city’s Maritime Museum basement.