Accessing the Arts

The world is transforming to digital and we want to be part of that change.

Accessing the Arts (ATA) is a Deaf and disability arts initiative bringing together artists and arts leaders to build knowledge around design thinking in our communities and center difference in the design and development of accessible solutions in the arts.

All of our ongoing research and projects are shaped and informed by the vital work and ideas of our partners at Re•Vision: Centre for Art and Social Justice, Bodies in Translation: Activist Arts, Technology and Access to Life, the School of Disability Studies at Ryerson University, Tangled Art + Disability, and Deaf, Mad and disabled artists and community members all across the globe.

ReVision Centre, Bodies in Translation, Ryerson University and Tangled Art + Disability logos

Our Framework

As artists, designers, researchers, and technologists, we use difference-centered design to solve problems and build accessible solutions in a world imagined by Deaf and disabled people.

Work in progress

An archive of ongoing reflections, updates and news related to Accessing the Arts.

Projects

Stories of Access

Stories of Access is a workshop series bringing together neurodivergent artists and artists with developmental disabilities to share stories, and explore what we believe accessibility in the arts could look like!

Between May and October this year, we will meet once a month on Zoom to explore questions around what it feels like to belong in the arts community. The goal is to create an idea that will help make the arts more accessible. The idea will be shared with the community to get their reaction.

Using a process we call difference-centered design, we will imagine together new possibilities and ideas for making art more accessible. Workshops will be hosted by Creative Users Projects and facilitated by Lindsay Fisher and Margaret Lam.

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Projects

Network Connector

Network Connector is an online roster of artists, service providers, and consultants working in or interested in working in Deaf, Mad and disability culture, accessibility, and the arts, representing a vast community of talent, knowledge and experience.

The purpose of the network is to highlight and profile people in Canada and abroad who are providing services or creative talent in the arts so that people can more easily find each other when projects require specific skills.

The network can be used by researchers, artists, curators, programmers and will be made available on our website for the general public to use.

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Research

Accessing the Arts: Case Studies from the Arts Sector

Creative Users Projects is holding a series of conversations with people and organizations who are making their online programming accessible to Deaf, blind and/or neurodivergent audiences throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We asked them to tell us about a recent accessible online event or project that they worked on, to learn more about their challenges, solutions, and the tools and resources that are helping to make digital accessible. We’ll be sharing these conversations as a series of case studies and a resource.

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Research

Accessing the Arts Focus Groups

From April 24 – May 20, 2020, we hosted a series of online co-design thinking workshops facilitated by guest artists to open dialogue about accessing the arts and share stories around what it means to access artistic experiences pre and post COVID-19.

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Research

Which side of the digital divide do you fall on?

We feel it’s more urgent than ever to stay connected with each other and share how we’re each navigating this challenging time in the digital world. On March 24th, the Creative Users Projects and Bodies in Translation research team met with a group of Deaf artists and stakeholders to discuss the challenges that artists are facing during COVID-19 and what the immediate needs and opportunities are.

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Research

Accessing the Arts: Exploring Models of Access

On Tuesday, February 18th, 2020, Creative Users, Luminato, Tangled Art + Disability, and Bodies in Translation hosted a two-part Think Tank with community members and stakeholders in the arts. We came together to explore how Toronto might work together to create better access for artists, arts organizations, and audiences using the Good Host model designed by Inside Out Theatre in Calgary, AB.

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