Dr Simon Hayhoe from the Department of Education has recently written Cultural Heritage, Ageing, Disability, and Identity, a new book examining the effects of disability and ageing on engagement with cultural heritage and associated cultural identity.

Published by Routledge, Simon’s book combines theory and detailed case studies of individuals in the UK and US, Yosemite National Park, the Statue of Liberty and Museum of Fine Arts Boston, unpicking both the current state of play and future directions in inclusion.

The publication is the product of several projects, but mainly Simon’s Fulbright project in 2011, when he was a Fellow of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The theory in the second and third chapter however, comes from ARCHES (Accessible Resources for Cultural Heritage EcoSystems), his current EU H2020-funded project with European museums.

With the help of digital resources, ARCHES aims to create more inclusive cultural environments particularly for those with differences and difficulties associated with perception, memory, cognition and communication. The project’s interdisciplinary consortium involves academia, SMEs, research centres and museums.

Simon explains: “This book is a slight departure from my previous books, in that it is about all disabilities. It also does not discuss individuals’ impairments, such as deafness or blindness, but focuses on the effects of being called disabled on practice in museums.

“I am delighted with this departure, as it represents a new area of research and theorisation, and begins a new debate on access to cultural heritage.”

About the author

Dr Simon Hayhoe is a Reader in the Department of Education and Admissions Tutor for the MA Education. He is also a centre research associate in the Centre for the Philosophy of Natural and Social Science, London School of Economics.