The City of Art and Sciences and CAM organise workshops for the disabled at L\'Oceanogràfic

May 12, 2005

The General Manager of the City of Arts and Sciences, Jorge Vela, the Director General of Social Integration of the Disabled Francisco Villena and the chief executive of Caja de Ahorros del Mediterráneo (CAM), Enrique Ros, today presented the programme of guided visits and workshops for the disabled: “Come and sail the seven seas”, which will be held at the Education and Research Building of L\'Oceanogràfic at the City of Arts and Sciences.
The City of Art and Sciences and CAM organise workshops for the disabled at L\'Oceanogràfic

Jorge Vela pointed out that “all the areas in the City of Arts and Sciences have been designed so that everyone can access them and enjoy their content, without any kind of architectural barriers, and we have adapted the various activities and exhibitions to make this public project open and participative”.

The Manager of the City of Arts and Sciences explained that the facilities and theme of L’Oceanogràfic “create the idea environment to set up this kind of workshop and interactive visit”. He added that the City of Arts and Sciences and its partner in this project, the CAM social work section, “continue in their vocation of furthering social integration of the disabled, offering the complex facilities for the implementation of different projects relating to accessible leisure and, in this case, also providing knowledge of the marine world to this section of the population”.

The Director General of Integration of the Disabled, Francisco Villena, stated that “activities of this kind prove that we are creating a society here in Valencia that is modern, advanced and for everyone” and he added that the City of Arts and Sciences and CAM “are two organisations that are strongly committed to integration”.

Francisco Villena highlighted that the City of Arts and Sciences “is a model of accessibility and labour integration, and this sensitivity has been recognised by awarding it the prize for integration of disabled persons”. Villena pointed out the close relationship between the Department of Social Welfare and the City of Arts and Sciences, which has a fair trade store and is included in the Department’s free time and leisure programme. He also emphasised the work done by the charitable section of CAM and its partnership with the Department on issues such as sheltered housing, work integration programmes and others.

The chief executive of CAM, Enrique Ros, thanked the City of Arts and Sciences for its collaboration and stated that “it’s important that we all show more solidarity and that we remove barriers and integrate this sector of the population into society”.

Visits and interactive workshops

Groups participating in this initiative will be accompanied by specialist guides who will take them on an interactive visit to the aquariums. They will then attend educational workshops of their choice, held in the classrooms of the Education and Research Building at L’Oceanogràfic

The first activity, “Ecosystems” is adapted to people with mental, physical and sensory handicaps. It reproduces different marine ecosystems and allows participants to discover the different animals that inhabit them, paying special attention to emblematic and endangered ecosystems and protected species, adapting the explanations to the cognitive abilities of each group.

The purpose of the "Mapa mundi" workshop is to learn about different aspects of the lives of sea animals as varied as penguins, dolphins, sharks, polar bears, clownfish and walruses. Also, by means of a game in which one has to take aim, the participants will learn which areas of the planet are inhabited by each of these animals.

"Puzzles" is another workshop with the objective of developing participants’ psycho-motor skills and creativity. Using real textures, their sensory skills will also be stimulated, as the activity consists in putting different animal parts into wooden boxes, depending on their shape and location. Each box will have the name of the animal carved out on the bottom, also in Braille. 

To identify different marine animals from biological simples is the objective of “In search of your lost animal”. Participants will visit the different areas of L’Oceanogràfic to touch, handle and observe biological samples to find out which animal they belong to. Afterwards, they will divide them into different biological groups. Finally, in “Draw your favourite animal”, transparent plastic templates depicting different animals will be used by participants to draw the animal of their choice, which they can then colour in or add texture to, using felt, wool or other fabrics.