“Dialogo nel Buio”: you don’t need sight to look ahead

Since ten years, the Milan Blind People Institute hosts “Dialogo nel Buio” (“Dialogue in the Dark”, ndt), an evocative one hour exhibition/path, immersed into the full darkness.

"Dialogo nel Buio"

Then, an exhibition where visitors- accompanied by an experienced blind guide- can explore the spaces (inside and outside) of the path relying on all senses, except sight.

In the darkness, everything acquires a different “taste”: from food you can taste during the dinner (that must be booked apart, in addition to the path), to coffee and flowers smell, ‘til the perception of space and your own self. But this isn’t a mere imitation of blindness: “Dialogo nel Buio” is far more than a way to experience, without light, the other senses activate in a more powerful way, giving back a deeper experience of reality and interaction with the other people participating in the path. .

You can experience the “Dialogo nel Buio” path in groups of 8 people, aged 6 or more (“under 18” can participate only if they’re with an adult), plus the guide. Of course, during the path, you can’t bring anything bright, including mobile and smartphones: all the things that could create a diversion during the path must be deposited in the appropriate cabinets before starting.

Given its peculiarity, “Dialogo nel Buio” is also open to people with motoric, sensory or psychic disabilities, but with some expedients:

  • Disability must be specified while booking, so that an assistance service can be organized, if needed.
  • If you use crutches or other walking aids, you can use the wheelchairs available directly in loco.

In August, “Dialogo nel Buio” takes a break, but the exhibition/path will restart in September (for reservations or more info, please refer to its website).

Don’t miss the chance to enjoy this experience or gift your loved ones with it! You’ll realize that even for who can’t see, life isn’t necessarily dull or sad: it’s simply different.

Dance, dance, dance: discovering the danceability

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kCnB05GrUgc]

Can you dance, with a motoric disability? Instinctively, you’d answer no. But, lucklily, reality is different.

In 1987, two US choreographers, Alito Alessi and Karen Nelson, created the danceability, a dance method based on the principle that everyone, including disabled people, has the possibility and the right to express his own artistic verve also through the dance.

About 30 years later, the method developed by the two choreographers has come a long way. Today, Alessi is the promoter of DanceAbility® International, an organization aiming to promote the method, and the philosophy it’s based on, all around the world (including Italy!), through workshop, courses and performances.

danceability

But who’s danceability for? Just disabled (motoric, psychic or sensory)? No, quite the contrary! During the classes, continuous interaction among disabled and “able-bodied” is encouraged, in the free expression enabled by dance. There are no schemes, nor right or wrong steps, or strict rules: it’s up to everyone’s creativity and fantasy to invent the choreography inspired by music, based on his own skills and capabilities.

Furthermore, this method is particularly useful also to those working directly with disabled people, since it enables them learning effective methods to hook up more directly and effectively with them.

Not to mention the fact that, since it doesn’t “ghettoize” disabled people in “dedicated classes”, but mixes them with “able-bodied”, the danceability successes where, many times, good purposes run around: promoting and creating, through the dancing experience, the effective inclusion of disabled people (who are, precisely, people beyond and before their diseases), undermining and, often, destroying prejudices and preconceptions – that are still far too widespread and rooted- surrounding disability.

So, what about launching ourselves on the dance floor?

 

 

 

Accessible fun for everyone!

Merry-go-rounds and roller-coasters are fine, aren’t they? These attractions aren’t appreciated just by children: even those (like us) who are “over 10” love and dream about them! So, why would we have to do without them?

Now, the most important amusement parks, in Italy and abroad, offer a wide range of attractions (that are usually marked with some symbols indicating their level of difficulty and, therefore, accessibility) and services to enable all their visitors fully enjoying the experience: from the littlest children to the adults, including motoric and sensory disabled people.

  • Let’s start from the most famous amusement park in Europe, Disneyland Paris, truly offers a tailor-made fun for everyone and dedicated facilitations on the tickets price you can benefit from simply showing the Priority Card that’s distributed to those who show an invalidity certificate or a medical certification, or the Facility Card, reserved to those who have a temporary disability (for instance, due to an accident) and pregnant women, always provided that they present the medical document certifying that they can use the attractions without risks. For deaf people, for instance, some attractions have a magnetic induction amplifying system. For motoric or visually disabled people and their companions (including helping animals, if needed), some attractions have dedicated accesses. Usually, the park doesn’t provide for particular discounts on the tickets price for disabled visitors, but it’s always advisable to verify any specific initiative calling 02/75419755.
  • Coming back into the Italian borders, Gardaland offers assisted entry cards (for disabled and elderly people and pregnant women, with procedures that are very similar to those applied by Disneyland Paris) and dedicated prices for tickets addressed disabled visitors and their companions: not self-sufficient disabled people have right to a free entry ticket, while their helpers can enter buying a reduced cost ticket; autonomous disabled people, instead, can access the park buying a 33 € ticket (of course, showing all the appropriate documents). Furthermore, Gardaland has also dedicated accesses and services and signage for physical and sensory disabled people, both at the attractions and in the areas reserved to performances, at the restaurants and shops inside the park. Furthermore, this year Gardaland offers a brand new service: Easy Rider, to guide groups including people with a disability inside the park, helping them to choose the most suitable attractions and to plan their day. To fully enjoy the fun, I recommend downloading the guide from the park website, planning in advance your itinerary and arriving in advance, so that you can retire the card and benefit from all the dedicated services. Do you have any particular need? You can directly get in touch with the park using the contacts specified on its website.
  • The service level offered by Mirabilandia is very similar, both in terms of pricing and services. The park in Ravenna pays particular attention to families with children, that can benefit from an ad hoc package, and to “senior” visitors, who have right to a special price ticket. For not self-sufficient disabled people (and for children whose height is below 1 meter), the entrance is free, while their companions can benefit from a reduced price ticket. For more info or specific needs, it’s possible to contact the park management office using the form available online.
  • Similar conditions are offered by Rainbow Magicland as well. The amusement park near Rome has both attractions with different difficulty and accessibility levels and pricing policies dedicated to specific categories of visitors: free entrance for children below 1 meter of height and not self-sufficient disabled people; reduced price entrance, instead, for children until 14 years old, pregnant women, over 65 and autonomous disabled people (in these cases, the ticket must be bought directly at the park ticket office). Furthermore, there are special price packages for groups, schools and families.
  • Finally, Etnaland, the park near Catania, offers free entrance to children below 1 meter of height and dedicated discounts for those below 140 centimetres of height. For people whose disability is higher than 75% and their companions, the entrance ticket costs €15, both for the Themepark and the Aquapark.

Are you ready to launch yourself in one day (or more!) full of fun and adventure?

accessible fun - amusement park

Theatre, what a passion!

Together with music concerts, another typical summer activity are outdoor theatre performances, combining the beauty and the artistic value of the performances with the suggestion offered by locations rich of story and culture.

But is an old Greek or Roman theatre accessible? The answer is yes, luckily! All “classic” appointments for the aficionados in Italy are fully accessible to people with motoric disabilities as well. As always, you simply have to get informed and send well in advance the documents needed.

Here you have some examples.

  • The Istituto Nazionale del Dramma Antico (National Ancient Drama Institute, ndt) yearly organizes, in the evocative setting of the Greek theatre in Syracuse performances of the most important tragedies in the big Greek tradition. This year, the programme includes Euripides’ “Alcesti”, Sophocle’s “Elettra” and Seneca’s “Fedra”. The Greek theatre is, now, accessible to motoric disabled people, who can attend the performances for free, together with a companion, presenting the documents certifying their disability. For more info, you can contact the Fondazione INDA Onlus calling 0931/487211 or sending an e-mail to indafondazione@legpec.it, or using their official profiles on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.
  • Climbing up the peninsula, also the Festival dei Due Mondi (Two Worlds Festival, ndt), the traditional appointment taking place in Spoleto between June and July, is open to disabled people, families with children and over 65. For all these groups, there are dedicated facilitations and discounts on the ticket cost: for children who are less than 5 years old and not-walking disabled people, the entrance is free (for the disabled person’ companion, the ticket has a facilitated fare, that can be bought calling the festival call center); for children who are less than 13 years old there’s the offer “Invita un adulto a teatro” (“Invite an adult to the theatre”, ndt), allowing both the child and the “invited” adult to attend the performances paying just 11 € in total; from 14 to 30 years old, you can benefit from a 50% discount on all the shows (subject to reserved tickets availability); for over 65 spectators, instead, the reduction is 20%. To benefit from these reduced fares, you must buy the tickets through the festival call center (calling 0743/776644 or sending an e-mail to biglietteria3@festivaldispoleto.com) or at the ticket offices available in Spoleto.
  • Would you like to attend a show in the wonderful setting of the Verona Arena? Also, in this case, you simply have to call the ticket office at 045/596517 or send an e-mail to biglietteria@arenadiverona.it. The disabled people and their companions will benefit from a reduced fare and accessible seats (in the parterre area for spectators using wheelchairs, in other suitable areas, according to the availability, for spectators with other motoric issues). Moreover, the 4th and 18th gates allow accessing the theatre avoiding architectonical barriers (the 18th gate has a metal ramp too).

What are you waiting for? Let’s go and reserve your seat for your favourite show!

Greek Theatre

The Greek Theatre in Syracure

 

Let’s go to the concert!

Summer is the season for travel and holidays, staying outside and – why not? – attending our favourite singer’ concert.

When you have to deal with mobility issues, besides buying the ticket, you also have to think about the location that will host the event: how can you make sure to be able to reach it and that, once you’ll be there, the seat you’ve bought will be suitable for who needs to use a wheelchair or crutches?

Good – better: great- news for you: all the most important companies organizing concerts and music festivals have accessible seats and, above all, particularly favourable buying conditions for disabled people and their companions.

concert

Here you have some examples:

  • D’Alessandro & Galli, in each event it organizes, has a reserved area for disabled people and their companions, usually located near the fire exits, to guarantee their safety. The interested person must download the request form from the company website, fill it with the requested data and submit it to grazia@dalessandroegalli.com. The day after, he will have to call 0584/46477 to confirm the reservation and know all the details about the offered facilitations, that change depending on the event. Keep in mind that seats are assigned giving priority to the most severe disabilities, then you’d better reserve your seat in advance to the events date. The company has also specific conditions for children. If you want to take your children to the concert, before buying the ticket, verify that that event is “children friendly” (sometimes, based on the type of event or the location, events could be forbidden to children) and contact the company sending an e-mail to info@dalessandroegalli.com or calling 0584/46647.
  • Barley Arts allows the disabled person and his/her companion to attend the events it organizes buying only one ticket at full price (without pre-sale rights), not using the usual sales channels, but directly contacting the company sending an e-mail to info@barleyarts.com. To benefit from the facilitations and reserve your seat in the accessible area, you must attach a copy of your invalidity certificate, specifying whether you need a seat or not, plus name and surname of your companion (who must necessarily be an adult) and, if you think to reach the location by car, the vehicle plate, so that you can access the reserved parks. If everything is ok, you’ll get an e-mail confirming your reservation within 10 days since you submitted your request. You can choose to buy your ticket in advance (once you’ve received the confirmation) or directly at the event ticket office: in both cases, you’ll simply have to show the confirmation e-mail printed, to have it.
  • Live Nation has even better conditions, since it offers totally free entrance both to the disabled people and to their companions. How to get it? It’s easy: well in advance (as soon as the company announces the tickets sales for the event you’re interested in are open), send a request e-mail to simone@livenation.it, specifying your name and surname, a phone number and an e-mail address and, of course, the event you’re interested in, plus a copy of your invalidity certificate. As the other companies, Live Nations gives priority to the most severe disabilities. In case of particularly requested events, the company gives the opportunity to who sends the request when the seats are sold out to enrol in the waiting list: should someone else give up, the company representative will contact the interested people to confirm the seat availability and finalize everything. But don’t take it too easy! When I decided to attend the concert of my beloved Placebo (scheduled for November 2016 in Assago), in February (9 months in advance!) there was a waiting list already: lucky me, someone gave up, otherwise I would have missed it!

Then, check the events scheduled in your city or where you want to go on holiday, reserve your seat and enjoy the show!