Sensing Culture Conference: Tuesday 1 May 2018 (sold out)

Sensing-Culture
Sensing Culture Conference
Tuesday 1 May 2018, Trinity House, London
Cost: Free
Sensing Culture is a Heritage Lottery Fund funded project. It has been working with blind and partially sighted people to open up heritage at museums, landmarks, archives and collections.
 
The project will conclude on Tuesday 1st May 2018 at the Sensing Culture Conference. The free Conference is aimed at those interested in making museums and heritage sites more accessible for blind and partially sighted people. Attendees will be able to find out the successes, challenges and learnings from the project. The event will:
 
•           Bring together like-minded people who share the same goal of making museums, heritage sites, and
the heritage sector more accessible  
•           Showcase good practice from across the museum/heritage sector, including the Sensing Culture project
•           Get you thinking about what you can do
•           Highlight future opportunities
 
There will be a wide range of talks and workshops from people involved in the Sensing Culture project. The keynote speakers for the day are Liz Ellis & Caroline George (Heritage Lottery Fund) and Simon Hayhoe (University of Bath). More speakers will be announced shortly.
 
It will also be the first chance to preview the new Sensing Culture website. The website will be a one stop shop for information and guidance on making museums, heritage sites, and the heritage sector more accessible.
 
Sensing Culture has been led by the Royal National Institute of the Blind. It has been delivered with the support of several prestigious heritage organisations, including a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 
The partners of Sensing Culture are:
•           Oxford University Museums and Collections led by Oxford Museum of Natural History
•           The Canterbury Cluster (Beaney House of Art and Knowledge, Canterbury Library and
Canterbury Cathedral)
•           Lewes Castle in Sussex, part of the Sussex Archaeological Society
•           Arthur Conan Doyle Collection, Richard Lancelyn Green Bequest in Portsmouth,
part of Portsmouth Council and Libraries
 

Sensing Culture aims to increase the independence of blind and partially sighted visitors, professionals, artists, and volunteers. This is by training staff and volunteers at the partner heritage sites and implementing practical solutions. In support of this, interaction at these sites has been increased and meaningful learning experiences created. This has included using technology, audio description and tactile panels.

 

Makaton Training – The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum

An exciting opportunity is coming up at The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum in March. We are going to be running the two day Makaton Foundation Course at a significantly reduced rate compared to booking it elsewhere. For just £85 (usual price up to £225) you can learn the signs and symbols of the core vocabulary stages 1-4. Makaton is a language used to support children who have limited or no-speech. This course is ideal for those looking to work with SEN groups, early years audiences and for those who wish to make their settings more inclusive.

This course is an essential part of entry criteria for Makaton Regional Tutor training, should you wish to become a Makaton trainer in the future.

To read up on how Makaton has been incorporated into other cultural venues please follow this link:https://www.makaton.org/blog/out-and-about/coventry-transport-museum

To find out more and to book your place please visit our Eventbrite page: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/professional-makaton-training-foundation-course-tickets-31754165564?aff=es2

Please do circulate this to any contacts that you think would be interested in booking onto this training.

Hearing Loops: Assistive Listening Technology ~ Dee Bolemon

Hearing Loop Logo

“Oh, my goodness!” I said out loud. The sound startled me. And then I smiled. I had just experienced an induction hearing loop for the first time.  Wow!

This was an emotional moment, as most of my life I’ve struggled to understand presenters in public venues or meeting halls.

But with the hearing loop installed in the room, I could understand every word.

Such clarity of speech moved me to tears.

Side note:  In 2013, I was diagnosed with hearing loss in both ears. My pursuit to understand hearing loss began with a road trip to attend an HLAA seminar by well-known audiologist, Dr. Juliette Sterkens.

Dr. Juliette Sterkens, National Advocate for Hearing Loops (sponsored by the Hearing Loss Association of America) travels far and wide to raise awareness of this assistive listening technology.

When Dr. Sterkens spoke into the microphone, her words traveled through the sound system into the copper wire installed on the perimeter of the meeting hall.  She loaned me a loop listener receiver so I could hear the clear, crisp words of the presentation. (After that event, my hearing aids were programmed to use hearing loops!)

Since that day, I advocate and share my experience so that people with hearing loss may have equal access to hear and understand presentations, seminars and sermons.

In the United States, hearing loops have been installed in the U.S. Supreme Court, churches, museums, theaters, universities, taxi cabs, subway stations and private homes.

In Europe, thousands of hearing loops are in use, including one at Westminster Abbey.

For more information on hearing loops, please see the following resources:

http://www.listentech.com/blog/induction-loops-in-museums/   (ListenTech)

https://youtu.be/hlnx3ZImTw0  (Otojoy video)

http://www.univox.eu/hearing-loops-for-museums-and-exhibitions   (Museums)

www.loopwisconsin.com    (Dr. Juliette Sterkens’ web site)

 

Dee Bolemon @LoopAdvocate
Orlando, Florida USA

British Sign Language in the Art World ~ Edward J Richards, Cutting Edge Design Limited

British Sign Language in the Art World - Credit: Heritage Lottery Fund
Hello! I’m Edward Richards, a Deaf British Sign Language (BSL) user I set up my own graphic design company, specialising in inclusive and accessible communication.

I have used interpreters for about the last 12 years and kept noticing that no matter the agency I used, the level of choice and quality of the service wasn’t to my linking. I therefore decided to begin work on a better system with fair fees and the ability to give me and other Deaf people back the choice and quality we were missing.. bookONE as it’s called will be operating in the near future.

I ‘m proud to say that I was involved in the London Paralympics Opening Ceremony as an aerial performer, for which I trained intensively for 4 months and last nearly 2 stones in weight, most of which has since found its way back to me! I also work as an Arts Presenter for several leading museums and art galleries in London such as Tate Modern and Britain, Royal Academy of Arts and National Gallery.

As a child I loved all aspects of art but never had full access to the information about the subject for which I had so much passion. I later decided to take on formal art training and studied Art at Camberwell and have always had an interest in how art theory can be expressed in my native British Sign Language.

In 2002, I saw a Tate advert looking for deaf people to become BSL gallery guides and applied without a second thought. This was the first training for Deaf people to become Arts presenters undertaken by Tate or anyone else as far as I know. The programme was very positive and since that time I have given talks at Tate Modern and Britain, the Royal Academy and Whitechapel Gallery, amongst others. I now engage deaf audiences with art and culture and am feverishly learning about new collections, works and ways of presenting. I believe passionately that this work brings deaf people back to the arts and I’m proud that I’m involved in training other deaf BSL guides to widen audiences at Tate and other venues across the UK. Last year, I was asked by Tate to set up and project manage their most recent Signing Art course, where I recruited Deaf experts in Art, research and speaking to Deaf audiences. You can find out more information about the work called ‘Project in a Box’ here I will happily help other galleries and museums set up similar projects, just give me a shout and I’ll be there. Since the course, I have assessed skills and mentored graduates in order to maintain quality.

I’m used to operating in peer to peer situations which helps in creating employment for deaf people where society’s record of recruiting Deaf and/or disabled people is extremely poor.

I also advise on Tate’s Access and Advisory Group. For me, I’m there not just to give a Deaf perspective, but to encourage a different way of thinking for all those involved in access to museums and galleries, creating an ethos of equality and inclusivity that encourages respect for Deaf people in all areas and allows for a more positive experience for everyone in this sector!