St. Petersburg State Specialized Central Library for the Blind and Visually Impaired, with the support of St. Petersburg Committee on Culture and in partnership with the Union of Russian Museums
From 1 to 7 December 2021, all-Russian festival dedicated to the International Day of People with Disabilities was held in 35 regions of Russia.In 2021, more than 260 organizations participated in the festival, and more than 450 offline and online events were held. Thanks to the online format, anyone was able to “attend” the events regardless of the venue. The festival is held in order to increase social activity of people with disabilities, attract public attention to their problems, capabilities and achievements, assist in their social integration in cultural institutions and creation of inclusive venues.
- Although the Relay of Kindness Festival project has been underway since 2018, the idea of going online came about in 2020 due to the pandemic. Successful implementation of the project required inhouse professional competencies in the field of digitalization and consulting colleagues at the institutions that would potentially participate in the festival.
- It was challenging to involve cultural institutions that had no experience in conducting online events and in organizing access to online events for people with disabilities.
Online events of libraries, museums, theatres, universities, and NGOs brought together more than 18,000 participants. The online format helped people with health problems “attend” events regardless of where they lived. The festival taught institutions how to organize and conduct online events for people with disabilities, taking into account the specifics of their perception. The number of participating institutions and visitors to the events from different regions of Russia increases year on year. The CIS countries join in. The festival erases stereotypes, lifts barriers between people. Outreach events introduce real possibilities for people with disabilities in various categories, and inclusive events give people with disabilities the opportunity to participate in the cultural life of the society and demonstrate their talents.