The specialised guide, which is available in English, Irish, French and Russian features large print formats and includes detailed maps of each gallery within the Newry and Mourne Museum. The maps not only help visitors navigate the Museum but also highlight ‘must see’ artefacts on display. Additionally, an orientation map is included, showing accessible routes throughout the Museum building.

The creation of the guide stems from recommendations made in an Access Audit of the Museum conducted by Access Matters UK, an access consultancy firm, on behalf of the Northern Ireland Museums Council in June 2021.

Generous funding for the design, translation and printing of the guide was provided by The Museums Connect Grant Programme which is funded by the Art Fund and the Northern Ireland Museums Council. This initiative aims to support museums in evolving their practices, fostering new and secure ways to connect with their diverse audiences.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Cllr Valerie Hart said, “I am delighted that the Museum has made accessibility for disabled individuals at the core of its work and would like to thank the Northern Ireland Museums Council for generously supporting this initiative. Ensuring that the Museum and its exhibitions are accessible to all is vitally important as we welcome visitors from all over the world to the Newry and Mourne area.”

Northern Ireland Museums Council Development Officer, Eva Lynch who attended the launch, said, “NIMC is pleased to have awarded Newry and Mourne Museum a Museums Connect grant supported by the Art Fund for this project. We are eager to see how these multi-lingual Easy Read Guides will enhance the orientation and engagement of visitors with the rich local history and culture showcased in the Museum, furthering the Museum’s goal of providing accessible experiences for all.”

Newry and Mourne Museum Curator, Dr Ken Abraham added, “A high percentage of our visitors have disabilities and we are pleased to introduce this new guide to enrich their Museum visits. It complements our popular audio guides, enhancing engagement with our exhibitions and Museum Collection.”

The ‘Easy Read Gallery Guide’ is available to all visitors free of charge at the Museum Reception.