RELAY OF KINDNESS-2021 ALL-RUSSIAN FESTIVAL

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

Project website

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.

Events of the festival demonstrate accessibility of services of participating institutions to visitors of different categories. Preparation of events helps improve professional skills of employees of cultural institutions in working with people with disabilities. The festival, organized by St. Petersburg State Specialized Central Library for the Blind and Visually Impaired (“Points of View” library) with the support of the Committee on Culture of St. Petersburg and in partnership with the Union of Museums of Russia, has been held since 2018. Cultural institutions of the Republic of Belarus and Kazakhstan joined the festival.

Detailed information about Relay of Kindness-2021 All-Russian Festival, as well as the festival program, can be found on the website of the St. Petersburg State Specialized Central Library for the Blind and Visually Impaired: www.gbs.spb.ru

OLGA USTINOVA

Director of St. Petersburg State Specialized Central Library for the Blind and Visually Impaired

OLGA KVOCHKINA

Head of the library development department

MIKHAIL NAZAROV

Head of the scientific and methodological sector of the development department

LUBOV SLIUNKOVA

Development department methodist

ANASTASIA KVOCHKINA

Specialist in library and exhibition work

How was the project idea conceived?

- 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.

What challenges did you face in implementing the project?

- 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.

What are the benefits of your project for people?

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.

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