The Weiwuying Inclusive Project Initiating the Ears Project
Ever since its opening, National Kaohsiung Center for the Arts (Weiwuying) has introduced a variety of international programs. As for the operation of the venue, Weiwuying is making efforts to realize the concept of becoming “an art center for everyone.” In April 2019, Weiwuying officially announced the collaboration with Fubon Financial in the “Eyes and Ears Inclusive Project,” which encouraged many visual and hearing-impaired visitors to visit Weiwuying and participate in art events. Various related groups and associations made group reservations upon learning about the project.
The participants of the Ears Tour on April 29th were from Chiayi: 11 with hearing impairment and two accompanying members, while the comprehensive 60-minute tour was led by Taiwan Association of Sign Language Interpreters alongside Weiwuying staff. An atmosphere of anticipation and excitement filled the air as the visitors checked-in, and many praised the incorporation of iPads and brochures that contained large images.
The tour starts from the outdoor Banyan Plaza and continues to the Crown Terrace, Outdoor Theater, and Time Gallery on the 3rd floor, and finally arrives at the shops where participants can enjoy coffee and snacks, gaining a full sensory experience of Weiwuying. Ms. Huang, a contract employee at Chiayi City Government, expressed through a sign language interpreter that she had never visited Weiwuying before and the arrangements of the tour made it an enjoyable experience. Ms. Huang even joked that since Weiwuying is such a large venue, the duration of the tour should be longer so that they could explore the spaces to the heart’s content.
Another visitor, Chen, a student at a technical college, expressed through a sign language interpreter that she had participated in other sign language tours in the past. However, Weiwuying stood out with their iPads and large image and tactile cards, reassuring them that they would not have to worry about missing facilities and surroundings while paying attention to the sign language interpreters. After the tour, many participants expressed the wish to learn more about Weiwuying and wanted to apply for the next tour.