The Museum for the blind (Madrid, Spain)

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This morning was amazing! I cannot describe how impressive the Museo Tiflologico (Museum for the Bliind) is. Situated about 4km north of the Madrid city center this museum is worth every step of the walk (or Metro ride if that’s more your style). The museum is funded by the ONCE lottery company, hence the signage.

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The first section of the museum is a tactile areas where you can feel what different buildings of Spain and, indeed, the world look like. The models are all to scale so that people with vision impairments can experience them. It’s absolutely amazing. And such a simple concept too. I can’t help but wonder why it’s not done at home (or at least, I don’t think it’s done at home and people I’ve spoken with who work in disabilities say they haven’t come across it).

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A second part of the museum is a historic museum of tools used to help people with vision impairments type. And a third part (not photographed) is a gallery of works by people with vision impairments. The art is stunning.

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Outside the museum there’s a vending machine that has a clear piece of plastic stuck over it with Braille text. I love it. Again, so simple but effective. How good would it be if this simple piece of plastic was stuck on more vending machines and other items of common use that currently rely on vision to operate.

I feel invigorated and inspired as I leave the museum. I could have spent the morning at any of Madrid’s many museums or art galleries. But this one was exactly where I needed to be today.

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6 thoughts on “The Museum for the blind (Madrid, Spain)

  1. What a fantastic idea. If I see my visually impaired friend when I am running tomorrow, I will ask him if he has ever encountered a museum like it before. I can’t believe that no-one has thought of this before.

  2. I remember going to an exhibition for the seeing & the blind a few decades ago. It was in a completely dark room with a rail guiding you round and illuminated Braille signs in front of the exhibits (unlit). You reached out and touched them they were all metal/ wooden/ plastic no jets hard to the touch. When I reached out to the last one it was like getting an electric shock, it was a fur object (and no it wasn’t static!) It was very moving. Would be relatively easy to put on a similar one anywhere.

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