Even if the doors of the Schumann House in Inselstraße still have to remain closed due to the pandemic, the past has given wings to new ideas. Two audio guides guarantee a multi-faceted individual tour of the Schumanns' first shared home: one guide for visitors on site as well as Schumann fans worldwide available via the website (schumannhaus.de/audioguide) and another for visually impaired people. With the latter project, the museum is completely barrier-free.
With the audio guide for guests without visual impairments, you can be in the world of Clara and Robert with just a few clicks. Directly in the museum, a QR code scan with one's own smartphone or tablet is all that is needed. Artfully designed short features move, open the mind and arouse curiosity about the respective attractions in the room. The guide was conceived and produced by feature writer Magdalene Melchers, who was already responsible for all the audio pieces and visualised features in the Schumann House. Linon was responsible for the technical realisation. An English version will also be available in the next few months. A "gallery of audio images" embedded in the audio guide offers further thematic immersion. From February onwards, invitations will be extended once a month to a "Digital Vernissage". Listeners can look forward to contributions from the great-great-granddaughter of Clara and Robert, the pianist Heike-Angela Moser, the curator and Schumann expert Prof. Beatrix Borchard, the director of the museum Gregor Nowak and many other interesting personalities who will be dedicating themselves in detail to the Schumanns.
The contactless audio guide is supported by the programme "NEUSTART. Immediate Programme for Corona-related Investments in Cultural Institutions" of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media as well as by Prof. Dr. Beatrix Borchard and Dr. Wulff Aengevelt.
Visually impaired visitors can now also immerse themselves in the Leipzig times of Clara and Robert as soon as the museums are allowed to reopen. The audio tour and a floor plan map in Braille have been specially adapted to the needs of this audience. Thanks to their ease of use, the playback devices do not distract from an intensive museum experience. Guests are greeted right before the carriage entrance: the reception stele, equipped with important information in Braille, sets the mood for the exhibition with acoustic cues. Tactile floor indicators ensure safe access to the museum. A representative of the Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired of Saxony (Kreisorganisation Leipzig Stadt), who was allowed to test the audio guide in advance, was enthusiastic about the guide. Disabled parking directly at the entrance, a lift, disabled-friendly sanitary facilities and the equipment of all screens and listening stations with inductive listening systems make the Schumann House completely barrier-free.
The project was made possible by funding from the Barrier-Free Construction 2020 investment programme "Favourite Places for All" in accordance with the Saxon State Ministry for Social Affairs and Consumer Protection's guideline on investment funding for facilities, services and offers for people with disabilities. This measure is co-financed with tax funds on the basis of the budget passed by the members of the Saxon state parliament. The technical implementation was carried out by the company Kulturaufnahme.