They present a project to incorporate pictograms in restaurant menus

The deputy Diego Costarelli (UCR), presented a bill through which it is promoted that gastronomic establishments of the province implement in their menus, whether printed or digital, images or pictograms easy to understand for people with some type of neurodevelopmental disorder or who do not have literacy skills.

Accompanied by representatives of AEHGA – Hotel, Gastronomy and Related Business Association of Mendoza – and the Association Creating Footprints, Costarelli indicated that the idea arose from a proposal by the Association Creating Footprints, to “work on issues that have to do with the inclusion. This project refers to one of the most modern concepts in relation to disability, which is a social concept. The challenge is not only placed on people who have some type of disability but also in social environments, which are the ones that put up the barriers”. The objective, he said, “is that these people can develop freely”.

Along these lines, he indicated that he took this proposal to AEHGA “who agreed from the beginning.”

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The initiative forces gastronomic establishments, whether they be restaurants, confectioneries, bars, cafes, ice cream parlors and others, “to offer menus with pictograms, making Mendoza a more inclusive province.”

It is an augmentative and alternative communication system – SAAC -, through which “it is possible to represent something concrete, such as a specific food, linked to something more abstract, to an action such as eating, drinking or ordering, for example. In this way, the person with a disability can understand more complex concepts and transmit a message through gestures, sounds or signs with greater simplicity and clarity”.

The pictograms or images have the benefit of being universal, since they can be understood by everyone, regardless of the language they speak, said the deputy, who added that “they are very legible visual systems, which can also be adapted in size and color contrast.” color for people with visual impairment, for example. In addition, they have the characteristic of immediacy: just by pointing at the image, communication between the participants in the communicative act is established. For this reason, the accessible menus can use real images of the product or the traditional pictograms found in ARASAAC”.

In this way, he continued, “it will undoubtedly facilitate the access and autonomy of people with functional diversity to activities as vital as going out to eat and sharing a social life with others and carrying out leisure activities”.

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For her part, Flavia Lombardi, from the Association Creating Footprints, maintained that the work carried out was “on behalf of many families that have children, adolescents and adults with disabilities. The objective is that in Mendoza, throughout the province, Not only in an apartment, all families that go with a member who has a disability, to a cafe, to a restaurant, can have a menu with pictograms available that is accessible and mainly provides cognitive accessibility to those who have challenges in communication. communication”.

Lombardi affirmed that there are municipal ordinances in some departments, but “we want to go further, point to all of Mendoza, so that these menus are not only found in the downtown area, but if a family goes on vacation to San Rafael, for example, they can also find them.” “.

“Pictograms from the ARASAAC system can be used, which can be downloaded, or images such as the menu that is going to be offered to the person, such as a coffee with croissants,” he added.

In the same sense, Edmundo Day, from AEHGA, indicated that “we see it with very good eyes because it really seems to us that it is a way to continue integration, to make access more democratic for all consumers. With technology, today these are easy questions. to resolve, and feel the inclusion, that everyone can be part of society, that the barriers are being eliminated, is an important step and we believe that gastronomic establishments will not have major inconveniences to apply it”.

“It’s providing tools that make life easier for people who want to access different gastronomic venues and sometimes these barriers are felt as discrimination,” he said.

In the same way, Matas Bismach, also from AEHGA, expressed that “there is a great challenge in gastronomy to be able to promote cultural accessibility. The Chamber has set clear objectives in this regard and this is one more step.”

“Trying to reach the territory with different forms of language to communicate with us is one of the challenges posed and this project comes to accompany this,” he added.

“On the one hand, the pictogram is fundamental, Braille too, the audible letters. Within the experiences we have, we consider that the audible letters are also an opportunity and a super necessary tool and we understand that this is the way, it is a step to see how we generate more opportunities in the service but that the general objective is much more ambitious, such as understanding accessibility to generate new jobs. This is just the beginning”.