FC Barcelona is one of the most popular and successful football clubs in the world, with millions of fans around the globe. But not all of them can enjoy the full experience of visiting the club’s museum, which showcases its history, trophies, and legends. That’s why the club is working with the Catalan Association for the Promotion of Deaf People (ACAPPS) to improve the accessibility of its museum for people with hearing loss.
Last week, a group of volunteers from ACAPPS visited the temporary Barça Museum, which is open while the Spotify Camp Nou stadium is under construction. The goal was to test the existing accessibility tools and provide feedback for future improvements. The volunteers were invited by the club’s Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Department, which is in charge of developing initiatives, projects and services for people with different needs and abilities.
The temporary Barça Museum features an exhibition called Barça Immersive Tour, which is a unique audiovisual experience that recreates the sensations of being in the new stadium and explains the essence of Barça as More Than A Club. The museum also has an audio induction loop at the reception desk, an audio guide and subtitles for videos. These tools are designed to help people with hearing loss communicate and enjoy the content.
One of the volunteers, Ariadna Cardelús, who lost her hearing at 27, said: “The audio induction loop allowed me to communicate and clear up any problems I had before going in. Once inside, thanks to the audio guide and video subtitles, I was able to continue with my visit.” She also praised the club for its efforts and expressed her hope that other organisations would follow its example.
The club’s Diversity, Equality and Inclusion Department said that it was important to have genuine feedback from its fans and visitors, especially those with specific requirements, to find out where it stands and how it can keep working towards providing the best possible experience for each community.
FC Barcelona’s commitment to improving accessibility has also led to other initiatives, such as the Visualfy programme at the OAB office. Visualfy is a start-up company that creates technological solutions for people with hearing and visual loss, and it is part of the Barça Innovation Hub, which is the club’s platform for innovation and knowledge.
ACAPPS is a non-profit organisation that promotes the rights and well-being of deaf people and their families in Catalonia. It offers services such as logopedics, education, social work, legal advice, leisure activities and advocacy. It also works with public institutions and private entities to raise awareness and improve accessibility.