University allocates cultural center to disabled artists
by Anadolu Agency
MERSİN, TurkeyAug 15, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Anadolu Agency
Aug 15, 2015 12:00 am
An accessible culture and arts center at Mersin University (MEÜ) provides people with disabilities the opportunity to freely engage in cultural activities with its audible library and music and ceramics workshops. Speaking to an Anadolu Agency (AA) reporter, Soner Yurttaş, the center's coordinator, said people with disabilities always have a place in the university's strategic plans. He said they conducted the necessity analysis and decided establishing a special cultural complex for people with disabilities will fill an important void.
Built at the university's Yenişehir campus, the culture and arts center was founded with funds from the Çukurova Development Agency. He said an accessible library was the first part of the project to enable students with disabilities to use library resources as freely as other students.
Special software was designed for students with impaired vision and hearing and those who are physically handicapped. A special record room was also established to create audiobooks. "Audiobooks are distributed to our students. Additionally, a number of musical instruments were bought to allow students to form an ensemble, and a music workshop was founded," he said, adding that musical activities have already commenced. There are also photography, ceramics and painting workshops at the center. "We established a successful complex," Yurttaş proudly stressed. He underscored that although the center, which aims to encourage people with disabilities to participate in more cultural and artistic events, opened recently, it has already received great interest.
Şermin Kılıçarslan, a ceramics workshop trainer, said they not only educate students, but create an open place for cultural activities. "There are currently four physically handicapped, two deaf and one mentally handicapped participants in the ceramic workshop. They are making good progress. Their artwork will be showcased at a UNESCO-supported exhibition in Bodrum. Their families also support them," she said.Physically handicapped participant Öznur Doğan expressed her happiness at being able to take courses at the center. "I really like it here. I feel good as I make an effort and produce something. It makes me feel happy to say I can do something and create something that belongs to me," she said. Another participant, Nimet Altın, said she enjoys having fun while engaging in artistic activities.