Steele County Historical Society to offer free translators
OWATONNA, Minn. (KEYC) - In an attempt to make history more accessible, the Steele County Historical Society in Owatonna is making translation devices available to the public.
”I’m one of those people that think that museums should be for everybody, regardless of what language you speak, where you come from, there should be no barriers,” Steele County Historical Society Executive Director Kellen Hinrichsen said.
The devices come from a grant from the Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research.
They translate text and speech in over 80 languages and will be available free of charge upon request once the upcoming exhibit opens on Jan. 29.
“Just in the school districts alone, there are about 850 students here, whose families, who, English is not their first language spoken at home. So there is a significant amount of the population who might not speak English or might not be comfortable speaking English. And so I wanted to kind of bridge that gap and provide a mechanism to allow them to come in and feel comfortable at the Steele County Historical Society, and still be open to be able to learn here,” Hinrichsen explained.
The device also has a camera function that translates signs and text into the selected language, making the museum completely accessible to visitors.
The museum said that there is a wider plan to make the museum more accessible, and the translation devices are only the first step.
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