GoVilnius has unveiled a series of sensory tours for blind and visually impaired people living in and visiting the city.
The Touch and Hear Vilnius Route features an audio guide about the history of the city, with descriptions of how to follow the route.
Users will get the chance to find and touch specific items of interest. Although designed for blind and visually impaired people, the tour is accessible to everyone.
Free walking tours and online audio will be available throughout the month of October. Museums in Vilnius such as the MO Museum, Church Heritage Museum or National Art Gallery will also provide special tours and educational activities.
To support the initiative, GoVilnius has released a video featuring the stories of visually impaired people living in the city. The film was made to raise awareness of mobility and integration challenges, as well as how touch, sound and storytelling can be used to learn about a destination.
Valdas Benunskas, Mayor of Vilnius, said: “We do the best we can to make Vilnius friendly and accessible to different people, and we are taking various steps towards reaching this goal, such as implementing universal design principles to ensure that the physical and virtual environment of the city is equally accessible to everybody.
“In the meantime, this initiative is a meaningful and beautiful way to express our solidarity with visually impaired residents and visitors and to show that Vilnius is a place rich with experiences even without seeing them.”
Paulius Kalvelis, representative of The Lithuanian Union of the Blind and Visually Impaired, added: “We are happy that people with visual impairments can safely travel around the city, get to know Vilnius on their own, and experience historical objects speaking with people’s voices, telling the stories of their origin.
“Tactile models help them understand the shapes and sizes of these historical objects, and extremely accurate navigation between locations allows for a comfortable journey in exploring the city.”