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Finding signs
that signify words

Finding words
to aid

Reducing physical

Finding words
to construct images

a castle suitable for all types of disability !

  « A destination for everyone »

Château de Saint-Mesmin (a fortress dating from the Middle Ages) and listed as a Historic Building has been awarded the Tourisme & Handicap label for 4 types of disability since the end of February 2014 and offers real freedom to people with special needs: hearing, mental, motor and visual.

The Château de Saint-Mesmin programme of activities strives to cater for all types of visitors by varying the medieval site’s ways of discovering and experiencing the castle: street entertainment, educational activities, creative workshops, disability-friendly guided tours, etc.
Any visit by people with special needs first gives rise to a planned tour designed according to stated requirements.

Reserved parking
There is designated parking for people with special needs. There are 2 parking bays, allowing very easy access to the site entrance.

Récompenses reçues par le Château de Saint-Mesmin :
• 2012 : Prix encouragement : Handicap et territoires, Région Poitou-Charentes : 2000 €
• 2014 : 1er prix du Top du tourisme et handicap, Agence développement du tourisme des Deux-Sèvres avec la Nouvelle République
• 2014 : 1er prix Patrimoine Pour tous, Ministère de la culture : 20 000 €
• 2015 : Nominé aux trophées APAJH Ville citoyenne et service public

In the reception area, a counter hearing loop allows visitors with hearing difficulties to easily hear and communicate with the castle’s staff.

A video presents the castle and its events in sign language on a large TV screen, in the shop/relaxation area, not far from the reception.

  Tours can be carried out by means of:

• A multimedia guide in sign language accompanied by photos to present Château de Saint-Mesmin

• A tour guide/interpreter (subject to booking and a minimum number of participants)

  Also available

• A book on the Middle Ages in sign language (only in French) is sold in the shop. (Collection Lexsignes, Edition du patrimoine)

The staff of Château de Saint-Mesmin are able to adapt to people with special needs..

- Preparation of the venue with consultation meeting, safety, site visit, etc…

  The day of the tour :
With customised accompaniment :
• Group welcomed by costumed staff.
• Presenting of tour using an attractive, tactile map of the castle.
• Showing of castle presentation video: includes architecture and also medieval events.
• Safe, guided accompaniment throughout the castle tour.

Without accompaniment :
• Unaccompanied tour of the castle: Use of an illustrated map of the castle with numbering of rooms and fact sheets available in all rooms of the castle.
• In the summertime, participation in events developing the five senses according to the theme selected for the year, with performances which are adapted to visitors’ special needs.

The route between the disabled parking bays and the main entrance of Château de Saint-Mesmin is identifiable by disability-friendly signs. Access to the reception / ticket office of the site is on one level, as is that of the toilets.

The reception desk is lowered in order to welcome people in a wheelchair, small people or those who simply want to sit down. Wheelchairs, as well as folding chairs can be obtained by asking at reception.

A video presenting the castle and its events is shown on a large TV screen, not far from the reception. The products in the shop are accessible in a wheelchair.

Access to the castle is by means of a wheelchair lift, identified by suitable signing. The wheelchair lift allows access to the castle for almost the entire ground floor. The floors of the keep remain inaccessible owing to their 109 steps.

Means of substitution :
Multimedia guides are available allowing you to discover the architecture of the upper floors, which are inaccessible.

It is possible to use the outer ward for picnics. Wooden tables are provided, with benches that can be moved.

All of the outside and inside signing of the castle favours safe and independent movement of all individuals.

This highly consistent signing is in large letters and is also in braille :
entrance, reception, outer ward and all rooms of the castle.

Braille is also food on the door handles of the site's toilets. Contrasts are provided by the presence of stickers placed on glass doors , on switches and coloured fittings in the toilets.

A tactile location plan of Château de Saint Mesmin (in relief and braille) is found outside, near to the wheelchair lift.

Means of substitution :
Multimedia guides present an audio description of the castle with information (only in French) regarding the route from one place to another (distance, number of steps to go up or down etc.).

  The tour can be carried out witg a tour guide/interpreter and also by borrowing :

• A thermally-expended braille book
(historical and architectural presentation, 10 pages long, only in French)

Room fact sheets with large letters, illustrated (in French and English)

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