In an attempt to develop more inclusive tourism, 134 restaurants in the northern state of Coahuila have signed on to an initiative that will provide Braille menus in their restaurants for the visually impaired.
The new menus are already in use in Saltillo, in the state’s northern region referred to as Carbonífera, and in Torreón. Next up will be Arteaga, Monclova, Parras de la Fuente, Cuatro Ciénegas and Ciudad Acuña.
The initiative is led by Coahuila’s Ministry of Tourism and Development of Magical Towns and the Sustainable Tourism department of the state’s Ministry of Tourism (SECTUR). Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography reported in 2010 that 37,000 residents of Coahuila are either blind or visually impaired.
SECTUR has offered any restaurant that wants to participate the option of sending a version of their menu in a Word document and SECTUR will print and deliver copies in Braille.
The menus are just one facet of a larger project to develop and expand ways to make the state’s restaurants, hotels, and attractions more accessible for everyone. Beyond the moral obligation to cater to all residents, inclusive tourism just makes good business sense, explains Tourism Minister Azucena Ramos.
“It’s to satisfy a demand that exists in the market, to increase competition and the growth of destinations and tourism business where handicapped and special needs people are increasingly demanding their own participation in tourism activities,” said Ramos.
A sensitivity training workshop in March helped identify and take advantage of opportunities to create more inclusive tourism. Other state initiatives include providing wheelchairs for residents who need them, providing handicapped residents with special identification cards, and hosting various public workshops on creating inclusive public spaces.
With reports from Vanguardia