Egypt's antiquities ministry has launched a project to make archaeological sites and museums more accessible to people with disabilities, starting with improvements to Luxor Museum and the temples of Karnak and Luxor.
Sherif Abdel Moneim, supervisor of the ministry's Development of Archaeological Sites department, told Ahram Online that the project will bring improved mobility for those in wheelchairs, as well as making information more accessible to those with impaired sight and hearing.
Special paths will be constructed at Karnak and Luxor to facilitate the movement of wheelchairs, while information boards will be put up that are accessible to those with disabilities. A documentary film on display at the visitor center will have sign-language incorporated.
The toilets, meanwhile, will be renovated and equipped to suit special-needs visitors, according to international standards.
Mustafa Al-Saghir, director-general of Karnak Antiquities, explained a few of the improvements planned for the Karnak Temple site. The podium area and the area between the Teharaka column and the open-air museum will feature ramps measuring 1.5 metres in width, he explained, while a wooden slope will be installed from the start of the Avenue of Sphinxes.
The ministry is conducting the project in partnership with an Egyptian NGO called Helm (which translates into English as "Dream") that specialises in promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of life, including access to public premises.
Eman Zidan, supervisor of the ministry's Financial Resources Development Department, said that the project to improve accessibility at archaeological sites highlights the role of NGOs in serving the community.