Art Beyond Sight: Multimodal Approaches to Learning
October 14-15, 2005
The Subject at Hand
I assemble comments from blind people from the present and the past, responding to questions about their perception, imagination and cognition. Too often, blindness is understood only as a lack, an absence, a deficit. To experienced blind people it is a different way of perceiving, a different use of the senses, in different proportions and combinations. As we explore ways to make museums more accessible to people with impaired vision, we need to enlist the aid of blind artists, scientists, educators, and writers who can share their knowledge, and articulate their mental processes.
Crossing Sensory Borders in the Arts and Life
This presentation is concerned with recuperating the original meaning of the term "aesthetic" as the "science of sensory knowledge" (Baumgarten). It will open with an appreciation of the full-bodied, intersensory approach to painting expressed in the works of the Spanish Surrealist artist, Remedios Varo (1908-1966).The presentation will go on to consider various strategies for crossing sensory borders in Western and non-Western art, and then examine the implications of these sensuous practices for the re-creation of art and ethnographic museums as sites for the interplay of the senses.
Museums, Access and the Dubious Inheritance of Touch
Museums are increasingly devising touch-based activities as a means of improving blind visitors' access to collections. This provision may be new for museums but touch carries a heavy art historical inheritance; over the last century art history has characterized touch as pre-modern, primitive, irrational and even as entirely opposed to art. In this paper I explore that legacy and consider its impact upon contemporary touch-based initiatives in museums, concluding that touch, as it is currently used, may consolidate rather than alleviate exclusion.
Coming to Our Senses at the Met
Rebecca McGinnis and Deborah Jaffe
Multisensory experiences, especially those involving touch, are evoked increasingly in art museum education, but are we making the best use of all the senses? This presentation will outline some of the methods for multimodal engagement art museum educators at the Met are employing to help visitors with and without disabilities understand and appreciate art more fully. It will then ask how museum education practice can be enhanced through learning from the other disciplines represented at this conference.
Multi-sensory Programming for People Who Are Blind and Visually Impaired
Hannah Goodwin, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The human voice, music, poetry, the sounds of people walking across the floor, the smells and feel of the air in a gallery, things to take apart and put together, objects to touch and explore; these are some of the things that can be part of a multi-sensory tour or program. Visitors come to museums with a range of learning styles and preferences, knowledge about art, and with no knowledge about art. Multi-sensory programming can help guides and instructors meet their visitors where they are at, as well as provide an exciting learning experience.
Esref Armagan and Perspective in Tactile Pictures
John M. Kennedy & Igor Juricevic, University of Toronto
Both vision and touch use perspective, it will be argued. This controversial claim will be examined using evidence from the sighted looking at panoramic pictures of a piazza, and examples of drawings using rough versions of one, two and three point perspective from Esref, a congenitally blind man from Turkey . The key principle at work for both the sighted and the blind is used by Tracy, a blind woman from New York.
Learning about Seeing from a Congenitally Blind Painter
Alvaro Pascual-Leone, M.D., Ph.D., Harvard Medical School
EA is a congenitally blind, Braille illiterate painter. He has an extraordinary ability to comprehend the shape of an object by touch and draw it from any vantage point so that it can be unequivocally identified visually. Given the fact that EA has never seen his drawings, he must have internal representations of objects and scenes consistent with visual, not just tactile, frames of reference. This paper will discuss a study of the neural basis for EA's drawing abilities and techniques, as compared with tactile exploration or imagery.
EA represents a unique case study of a blind individual able to represent and communicate attributes through his drawings. He shows striking brain plasticity in visual cortex (including V1) for drawing versus scribbling, suggesting recruitment of this cortex for non-visual tasks. However, he is also different from other early blind in that he does not activate the same visual areas implicated in verbal memory. This might be because he is an expert in painting, thus the resources of the 'visual' cortex are recruited for this purpose and are less available for verbal memory skills. Consistent with this, he has never learned to read Braille and has poor verbal memory performance.
Recognizing Tactual Line Drawings by People who Are Visually Impaired -- Images, Memory and Learning:
In this presentation the significance of raised- line drawings is explored in the context of art education. The role of play and communicative language is emphasized in the development of young children who are blind and the evidence for perceiving, understanding and remembering raised-line drawings briefly reviewed. Potential similarities between those with and without sight are suggested in relation to imagining shapes and creating mental pictures with consequent implications for the brain processes involved.
Visual Cortical Activity during Tactile Perception in the Sighted and Blind
Many studies have shown that visual cortical areas specialized for processing particular aspects of visual stimuli are also recruited for processing the corresponding aspects of tactile stimuli. Thus, for example, visual form areas are recruited during perception of tactile form. There is some evidence that visual imagery of tactile stimuli might be partly responsible, and studies of connectivity implicate both top-down and bottom-up processes. Ongoing studies suggest that both tactile learning and blindness tend to increase activity in visual cortical areas.
A study examined the utility of haptic pictures for expressing information about object shape. Experiments on viewpoint dependence with relatively simple forms showed that top views were preferred, and yielded faster response time. This was found for sighted and for blind participants. However, the advantage of top views was limited to the matching task, since 3D views yielded superior matching performance using an alternative task. Top views may be very difficult for complex forms. The practical implications of the results will be discussed.
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is a new educational movement that extends the basic concept of Universal Design into the realms of teaching and learning. Its principles are derived from the neuroscience of learning and individual differences and its implementation is powered by modern multimedia technologies. UDL provides a foundation for education that is more responsive to individual differences and more effective for all students, including those with disabilities.
Friday, October 14
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Georgina Kleege is the author of a novel, Home for the Summer, a collection of personal essays about blindness, Sight Unseen, and Blind Quest: Letters to Helen Keller (forthcoming). Her work appears frequently in such journals as Raritan, Southwest Review and The Yale Review. She teaches creative writing and disability studies in the English Department at the University of California, Berkeley.
David Howes holds degrees in law and anthropology. He teaches in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Concordia University , Montreal . His research interests range from the anthropology of law and the sociology of art to cross-cultural psychology and the role of the senses in contemporary marketing and design. Together with Anthony Synnott, he founded the Concordia Sensoria Research Team in 1988, dedicated to exploring the varieties of sensory experience across cultures (see http://alcor.concordia.ca/~senses). He has carried out research on the cultural life of the senses in Papua New Guinea , Argentina , and the American Southwest. He is the author of Sensual Relations (2003), co-author (with Constance Classen and Anthony Synnott) of Aroma: The Cultural History of Smell (1994), and editor of Cross-Cultural Consumption: Global Markets, Local Realities (1996), Empire of the Senses: The Sensual Culture Reader (2004), and Culture in the Domain of Law (2005), among other works.
Fiona Candlin is Lecturer in Museum Studies, a joint appointment held at Birkbeck College and The British Museum. After working at Tate Liverpool and completing a practice-based PhD in contemporary art she started writing on art institutions and education, and on art and blindness. She has just completed a one year Leverhulme Fellowship that has enabled her to work on a book provisionally entitled Touch, Museums and the Call of Things.
Rebecca McGinnis is Access Coordinator and Associate Museum Educator at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She is co-chair of the Museum Access Consortium, a group of New York City Metro Area museum professionals, individuals with disabilities, and representatives from disability organizations. Rebecca has fifteen years' experience in the field of access to museums and the arts for people with disabilities, with particular specialization in access to information and interpreting art for people who are blind and partially sighted.
She recently co-authored, with Ileana Sánchez Art and the Alphabet: A Tactile Experience , an innovative children's book combining introductory braille, tactile pictures, and images of works of art from The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She was previously Director of Making Sense Access Consultancy in the UK and USA . She has Masters Degrees in Art History and Museum Studies, and has been an Educator at the Victoria and Albert Museum and Assistant Arts Officer at the Royal National Institute for the Blind, both in London . She is currently pursuing a PhD in Cognitive Psychology at Teachers College Columbia, focusing on tactile perception, mental imagery, and visual impairment.
Deborah Jaffe is an Access Coordinator at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She initially joined the Museum sixteen years ago as an educator with Discoveries, a family program for adults and children with learning and developmental disabilities. She acts as staff liaison for the group of volunteers who teach Special Education school groups, providing training on the collections as well as on teaching strategies for diverse audiences. Along with her colleague in the Access section of Education, she is involved in developing and overseeing all programs for visitors with disabilities, both in the Museum and at sites throughout New York City . She also works with colleagues in other departments to train and advise on accessibility issues. She has a BA in Art History from Brandeis University and is a ceramic artist.
Hannah Goodwin has been trying to push a large rock up a hill since she was about 14 years old. For the past four and a half years, she has continued this effort at the Museum of Fine Arts , Boston , where she is the Manager of Accessibility. Previous to her work at the Museum, Hannah spent ten years as an Art Educator in Special Education and inclusion programs, with experience before that working with all ages and abilities teaching art. She has been included on panels or presented at several conferences and written a few articles. Hannah has headed non-profit volunteer organizations and is also a professional artist. She is also the mother of a five-year-old, which helps her keep a good perspective on the world.
John M. Kennedy , a research psychologist, has been working with pictures and blind volunteers since the 1970s. He teaches a course on representation at the University of Toronto. His research is on outline, perspective and metaphor in pictures.
Igor Juricevic is studying perspective in the sighted for his doctoral thesis at the University of Toronto with John Kennedy. His thesis on 600-year old problems are likely to become recognized widely as offering the solutions to the major puzzles of perspective, originally defined by Leonardo and della Francesca, and unsolved since then.
Alvaro Pascual-Leone, M.D., Ph.D. is the Director of the Center for Non-Invasive Brain Stimulation and Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center ( Boston, MA, USA). He holds appointments as Adjunct Professor in Psychiatry and Neurobiology at Boston University, and in Cognitive Neuroscience at the Faculty of Arts and Science at Harvard University. Currently, he is also the Associate Director of the Harvard-Thorndike General Clinical Research Center and council member of the Organization for Human Brain Mapping.
Dr. Pascual-Leone is Board Certified in Neurology and Neurophysiology by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, member of multiple professional societies, and the recipient of several honors and awards, including the Ramon y Cajal Award in Neuroscience (Spain), the Norman Geschwind Prize in Behavioral Neurology from the American Academy of Neurology, the Daniel D. Federman Outstanding Clinical Educator Award from the Harvard Medical School, and the Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from The Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (Germany).
Dr. Pascual-Leone's major areas of research interest are the physiology of higher cognitive functions and the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders, with a focus on the dynamic modification of brain function across the lifespan (Neural Plasticity), and the possibility of neuromodulation by brain stimulation techniques. He is the author of over 200 papers in refereed professional journals, over 50 book chapters and 2 books.
Professor Linda Pring PhD studied at the University of Newcastle, England and later at Birkbeck College, University of London . She joined the Medical Research Council Developmental Psychology Unit in 1980 and it was here that she began research with children who were blind. In 1985 she took up a post as a lecturer in the Psychology Department, Goldsmiths College, University of London. She was awarded a Chair in Psychology in 2000. She recently headed an international team looking at the uses of tactile graphics in a project funded by the European Science Foundation. The direction of her research has included studying many aspects of cognition in individuals with visual impairment including early childhood development, musical understanding and talent, reading and listening, imagery, autobiographical memory and perception of tangible illustrations. This year saw the publication of a book that she edited entitled Autism and Blindness: Research and Reflections .
Dr. Charles Spence is a Lecturer in Experimental Psychology at Oxford University . His particular research interests lie in using cognitive neuroscience techniques to both identify and understand the information-processing limitations that constrain our ability to process the inputs arriving from each of our senses (e.g., hearing, vision, touch, smell, etc). His research calls for a radical new way of examining and understanding the senses that has major implications for the way in which we design everything from household products to multi-modal user interfaces. Dr. Spence has published more than seventy articles in scientific journals over the last decade. He has received both the 10 th Experimental Psychology Society Prize and the British Psychology Society: Cognitive Section Award in recognition of his achievements. This year, he is the recipient of the Paul Bertelson Award , recognizing him as the European Cognitive Psychologist of the Year.
Krish Sathian, MD, PhD, is Associate Professor of Neurology and Rehabilitation Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine, and Medical Director of the Atlanta VA Center of Excellence in Rehabilitation of Aging Veterans with Vision Loss. His research interests are in normal and disordered tactile perception, multisensory perception with special reference to cross-modal interactions between vision and touch, and novel approaches to neurological rehabilitation. He has published extensively in these areas, and his research is funded by the NEI and NINDS. He is a member of a number of professional societies and was elected to the American Neurological Association in 2001. He was the recipient of Emory University 's Albert E. Levy Faculty Award for Excellence in Scientific Research in 2001.
Dr. Lotfi Merabet is a clinical researcher with the Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and investigator with the Boston Retinal Implant Project in Boston , MA . He has doctorates in both Neuroscience and Optometry and maintains a clinical and faculty appointment in the departments of Ophthalmology and Neurology at Harvard Medical School . Dr. Merabet's research interests focus on neuroplasticity and in particular, how the brain adjusts to the loss of sight and its relation to restoring functional vision and developing novel rehabilitative strategies for the blind.
Morton A. Heller has edited four volumes, including the Psychology of Touch (Erlbaum) and Touch, Representation and Blindness (Oxford U. Press: UK ), and published numerous articles in refereed journals. His latest edited volume, Touch and Blindness: Psychology and Neuroscience (Erlbaum), will appear in October 2005. He is currently Professor of Psychology at Eastern Illinois University (EIU), and previously served as Chair of the Psychology Department at EIU. Heller is on the editorial board of Perception , and Perception & Psycholophysics.
In 1984 Dr. David Rose, Ed.D. helped to found CAST (Center for Applied Special Technology) with a vision of expanding opportunities for all students, especially those with disabilities, through the innovative development and application of technology. Dr. Rose specializes in developmental neuropsychology and in the universal design of learning technologies.
In addition to his role at CAST as Founding Director/Chief Scientist of Cognition & Learning, Dr. Rose lectures at Harvard's Graduate School of Education where he has been on the faculty for twenty years. He has been the lead researcher on a number of U.S. Department of Education grants and now is the principal investigator for two national centers to develop and implement the National Instructional Materials Standard (NIMAS). He is the co-author of Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age: Universal Design for Learning (ASCD, 2002) and is frequently a keynote speaker at regional and national educational conferences.Additionally, he plays a key role in CAST's curriculum development work and has consulted to Houghton-Mifflin, Scholastic, Tom Snyder Productions, EBSCO Publishing, Pearson, Sopris West, and other publishers. He is an author of Scholastic's highly successful Literary Place and Wiggleworks ®. Dr. Rose has testified before the U.S. Senate's Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and he advises state departments of education on policies related to the education of students with disabilities. Dr. Rose received his doctorate from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education.
Saturday, October 15
Museum of Modern Art and Dahesh Museum of Art
Beth Ziebarth has a personal interest and professional responsibility in advocacy for people with disabilities. She currently serves as the director of the Smithsonian's Accessibility Program. In her position, Ms. Ziebarth develops partnerships between the Smithsonian and disability, educational, and cultural organizations in order to enlarge the Institution's audience of people with disabilities, expand the degree of Smithsonian engagement with the disability community, and improve the quality of museum experiences for people with disabilities. She also coordinates training for staff on accessibility issues and disability culture, provides accessibility services to Smithsonian visitors, and reviews exhibit designs. She has worked at the Smithsonian for the past seventeen years, seven of which were spent in visitor research as a Social Science Analyst. Prior to her work with the Smithsonian, Ms. Ziebarth worked in marketing for not-for-profit organizations.
Tish Brown is Accessibility Coordinator at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco , working on programmatic and architectural access at the de Young and Legion of Honor museums. The Fine Arts Museums were the recipients of the American Association of Museums' Accessibility Award for 2002, and cited by the Independent Living Resource Center in San Francisco as one of ten good outcomes of the ADA . Trained in art history and landscape architecture, Brown has also worked as a museum educator. By attending this conference she is missing the opening day of the new de Young museum, but will be back facing the crowds on Sunday.
Barry Ginley was appointed as Disability and Access Officer at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London in November 2002. This was a new area of work, as his previous experience was providing a consultancy service to the Royal National Institute of the Blind and several property service companies.
After losing his eye sight in 1994, Barry went on to gain an MSc in Inclusive Environments Design and Management at the University of Reading . His first work in access was updating a book for RNIB, called Discovering Sports Venues . Little provision was made available at sports events for visually impaired people, so Barry campaigned for an increase in provision. Now as chair of the Visually Impaired Spectators Association and the RNIB'S representative on the UK Governments Football Task Force, access to sports stadia has greatly improved.
As the Disability and Access Officer at the V&A, Barry, wishes to improve access for all disabled people to the collection. Building upon the work previously undertaken at the museum, he has now extended the services available to disabled visitors.
Andrea Haenlin-Mott is the Project Director for the Northeast ADA & IT Center, a US Department of Education funded project that provides training, technical assistance and materials on the Americans with Disabilities Act and accessible information technology throughout Federal Region II (New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands). The Center resides within Cornell University 's Employment and Disability Institute in the New York State School of Industrial and Labor Relations. Ms. Haenlin-Mott has over fifteen years of experience in providing comprehensive training and technical assistance on a variety of issues related to ADA implementation and the interaction of the law with other workplace systems, State and Local Laws and codes and other disability related legislation.
Joel Snyder, a nationally recognized arts administrator and educator in the United States , worked for twenty years as a senior arts specialist at the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. In the early 1980s, Joel became one of the first "audio describers" to make theater events and media accessible to people who are blind or have low vision. Joel's abilities as a describer and narrator have made hundreds of live theater productions accessible to visually impaired audience members and he has trained audio describers for live theater at New York 's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington , DC and in over a dozen states throughout the nation. In media, Joel has used the same technique to enhance PBS' American Playhouse productions, feature films, the IMAX film "Blue Planet" and the Planetarium show "And A Star To Steer Her By" at the Air and Space Museum; and in museums, visitors' centers, and visual art exhibitions, he has "made the visual verbal" and trained docents at a range of venues including the Enabling Garden at the Chicago Botanic Garden, the "Exploring Marine Ecosystems" exhibit at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, the Sackler-Free Galeries, the Cooper-Hewitt Museum of Design, the galleries of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, FL, and the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo, NY.
As Director of Described Media for the National Captioning Institute, Joel leads a staff that produces description for nationally broadcast films, network series and children's programming-as such, he is the voice of the describer for Sesame Street broadcasts and a range of other televised programs.
Internationally, he has introduced description techniques in Japan, Israel, Romania, Norway, Finland, Spain and Lithuania; conducted audio description workshops in London, Prague, Leiria, Portugal, and St. Petersburg, Russia; trained describers for a first-ever audio description program in Sofia, Bulgaria in August/September 1998; and developed a team of describers for the second annual Moscow International Disability Film Festival as the result of intensive seminars conducted in Russia during June 2004.
He is the Founding Chair of the Steering Committee for the newly-formed US-based service organization Audio Description International and created the Audio Description Home Page web site on the Internet:
Francesca Rosenberg is the Director of Community and Access Programs in the Museum of Modern Art 's Department of Education. In her ten years at the Museum, she and her colleagues have won national respect for MoMA's unique efforts to make the Museum's extensive resources accessible to all. The Department of Education's Access program was awarded the Access Innovation in the Arts Award in November 2000 by the Metropolitan Life Foundation and VSA Arts (formerly Very Special Arts). Francesca serves on the Board of Directors for Dorot, Inc., the Education Committee for the American Folk Art Museum , the steering committee for the Museum Access Consortium, and as an advisor to Sunnyside Community Services. In 2002, she was recognized as Community Leader of the Year by Self Help for the Hard of Hearing. Francesca is the co-author of the publication Making Art Accessible to Blind and Visually Impaired Individuals and the co-producer of the video Art Beyond Sight: A Demonstration of Practical Techniques for Teaching Art to People with Visual Impairments. Francesca has been a featured speaker at numerous conferences, most recently at the 2004 VSA International Summit on Cultural Access and the 2004 Mayoral Conference on Alzheimer's. Before joining MoMA, Francesca worked in the School Programs Department at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and as the Associate Director of Art Beyond Sight.
Julie Watson spent her early years in the Theatre after studying at the Royal Academy of Art, London . This was followed by a degree in Archaeology and M.A. in Museum Studies at the International Centre for Cultural and Heritage Studies, Newcastle upon Tyne ; majoring in Museum and Gallery Education. Julie has worked for Tyne and Wear Museums for eight years and as Learning Officer at the Laing Art Gallery for the past five.
Debra Hegstrom is Docent Program Coordinator at The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis , Minnesota , where she is responsible for developing, teaching, and overseeing docent training and continuing education. This includes preparing docents to give tours to people with disabilities. The MIA currently offers touch tours for people who are blind or have low vision and ASL-interpreted tours for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as tours for people with mobility and mental disabilities.
Nelie Plourde is the founding director of the Umlauf Sculpture Garden & Museum, with nearly twenty years of experience in museums. USG&M has received state and national recognition for its continued dedication to making its programs as accessible as its facility. Sculpture & Me - We're Both 3-D! has introduced hundreds of students with visual, hearing and mobility disabilities to sculpture. In 1998, Heritage Preservation and the Smithsonian awarded USG&M a first place SOS! (Save Outdoor Sculpture!) Achievement Award for its bronze conservation program. Professional conservators train Elderhostel volunteers to wash and wax USG&M's outdoor sculptures so that the Museum can continue to offer touch tours for visitors who are blind and partially sighted.
Ms. Plourde is a charter member of ACCESS, a collaboration between Austin 's museums and the Austin Independent School District dedicated to strengthening the curriculum connections between museum and school programs. She is also a charter member of the Austin Museum Partnership. She was a museum representative on the four-member Texas delegation to the 2001 VSA Arts conference on cultural accessibility. In 1996, Ms. Plourde was honored as Outstanding Arts Administrator with the Austin Visual Arts Association Community Maker Award. She holds a BA in Art History and French from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Cindy Vanden Bosch , an avid storyteller, aspiring anthropologist, and manager and trainer of educators, has been with the Lower East Side Tenement Museum since she arrived three years ago to New York after doing development work in the Russian Far East. In conjunction with Maria Velez, the Education Associate for Access, Cindy has trained educators to conduct programs that increase accessibility to the Museum for all members of the public. From leading touch tours to conducting a barrier removal assessment of the Museum's buildings, Cindy has gained a wide range of experiences in access programming at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum and looks forward to sharing them with colleagues.
Sandra Malmquist is the founding Director of the Connecticut Children's Museum and its early childhood education center, Creating Kids. She has developed and directed children's programs since 1972. She holds a Master of Arts in Anthropology from Wesleyan University and a Bachelor of Arts in Childhood Socialization and Development from Goddard College. From 1984-88, Ms. Malmquist served as the Education Director for the Yale University site of the Infant Health & Development Program, a four-year, multi-site, national collaborative study of early intervention for at-risk children directed by Stanford University and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Creating Kids, and its parent organization, the Connecticut Children's Museum, are the recipient of many grants, including funding from the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven in 1996 to develop the Multiple Intelligences Inclusion Project. This model program established a curriculum template linking the multiple intelligences theory with curriculum development for children with and without disabilities. The Museum received an Association of Children's Museum Universal Design for Learning award in 2005. Ms. Malmquist directs the Museum's Creating Readers program, which distributes 5,500 books in English, Spanish and Braille annually to children, their families and teachers.
Ms. Malmquist has been trained in the art of descriptive reading, has been an early childhood teacher for a child who is blind and attended Board of Education and Services for the Blind professional development workshops. She speaks and writes on inclusion and the multiple intelligences curriculum in children's programs, is an instructor for a community college Children's Literature course and directs the Museum's myriad programs for children, their families and teachers. Ms. Malmquist is a member of the New Haven School Readiness Council where she chairs the Community Relations Committee.
Ann Winters is Assistant Manager of Visitor Services at the Denver Art Museum, where she has worked since 1998. In 2001, after attending a conference on accessibility, she and her supervisor were inspired to improve access services at the Museum. They began by producing a brochure on access services, but wanted to do something more to achieve their goal of bringing more people to the Museum. That desire led to the creation of Access Days-opportunities for Visitors with Disabilities to see special ticketed exhibitions. From a small beginning of only three visitors, they have now had as many as 136 visitors take advantage of Access Days. Ann hopes to see this program continue to grow.
As the Senior Creative Manager with Antenna Audio, Sofie Andersen is responsible for audio programs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art and for the past seven years has been producing tours for major museums, galleries and heritage sites in the US, UK, Europe and Asia.
Her work at the Met has included the recent production of the In Touch with Ancient Egypt Touch Tour in collaboration with the Met's Access education team. The tour is an independent, yet guided experience of works in the Egyptian Collection for visitors with little or no sight. The audio messages help visitors to explore the ancient sculptures using their hands, and guide them through the museum building. Tactile drawings of the sculptures are also provided.
Sofie has also developed programming for families, wheelchair users and visitors with developmental and learning disabilities, as well as multilingual tours in English, Welsh, Danish, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Japanese and Mandarin. She holds a BA Hons in Art History from The Courtauld Institute of Art, London.
Louise Brasher is Assistant Curator of Education and Coordinator for Disabilities at Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham , Alabama . As assistant curator of Education she is responsible for the docent programs at the museum and a teacher advisory board. As Coordinator for Disabilities since 2000, she has worked with Seymour Hoffman, a retired oral pathologist and a docent volunteer who in 1991 developed an interactive tour for blind visitors. The program has expanded to additional tours, a pamphlet, a binder which includes the five main paintings of the introductory tour: Sensory Guide to Museum Art: A Catalogue for the Blind of Paintings from the Birmingham Museum of Art with Tactile Reproductions and Audio Tapes , concerts for people with visual impairments during which the instruments are explained and passed around, concerts by people with visual impairments, and movies with audio description. A recent grant will enable further implementation of the program. Aspects of the program have been included in Art Beyond Sight: A Resource Guide to Art, Creativity, and Visual Impairment edited by Elisabeth Salzhauer Axel and of Art Beyond Sight.
Sandra Eastwood was employed by the South African National Gallery, Cape Town from 1964 to the end of 1977, where she was involved in the establishment of the Education Division in 1966 and the first exhibition inviting tactile exploration in 1967. She was the founder Curator of the Touch Gallery from 1972 - 1977. She has remained active in the field of expanding access to museums and multi-sensory, cross disciplinary approaches to art appreciation both nationally and internationally. Most of her present involvement takes place in the Iziko South African National Gallery on a project basis.
Hope McMath is Director of Education at the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens and has eight years of experience in museum education. During her time at the Cummer, she has designed and implemented programs that bring arts opportunities to over 50,000 students and adults annually. She is the Site Director for the local VSA Arts affiliate. In this role she has been responsible for creating a nationally recognized art festival for over 2,000 students with profound disabilities and Women of Vision, a program bringing art making and literacy to a group of women who are blind and visually impaired. Hope has written successful grants to support programs in arts infusion, school partnerships, youth and family initiatives, arts in healthcare, and disability projects. Due to her efforts, the Cummer was awarded the first Disability Access award from the city of Jacksonville , and has been recognized by the Council for Exceptional Children. She was named Museum Educator of the Year for the state of Florida in 2003 by the Florida Art Education Association and the Art Educator of the Year by the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville in 2005. In addition, she was recognized with the National Community Service Award by VSA Arts at the Kennedy Center in 2005. She is a working artist whose relief prints, etchings, and monotypes are exhibited and collected throughout the Southeast.
Ines Powell has been an educator at The Metropolitan Museum of Art since 1981. She has a Masters degree in Art History from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Ines lectures regularly in the Museum, and works with all audiences in a variety of programs. She has extensive experience working with people with disabilities, in both the Museum and in the community. She is especially dedicated to making art accessible to people who are blind and partially sighted, through verbal imaging and touch tours.
Ken Struve, the South Street Seaport Museum's Director of School and Social Service Programs, has 15 years experience developing youth programs in NYC , with focus on initiatives for young adults with disabilities and those at-risk. He has founded programs with such state and local agencies as the NYS Developmental Disabilities Planning Council, the Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities ( OMRDD ), and the NYC Department of Youth, and Community Development ( DYCD ) to develop inclusive academic and recreation programs. Among these the Inclusive Summer Day Camp for the YWCA - NYC was cited for exemplary practices by the Office of the Governor in 2000. Mr. Struve also consults with DYCD and The After-School Corporation ( TASC ) as a contributing author on effective inclusive practices. Mr. Struve also co-chairs the steering committee of the NYC Museum Access Consortium, which seeks to improve access for people with disabilities to cultural institutions citywide.
Robert Forloney is the Education Task Force Co-Chair for the Commissioner's Advisory Council for State and Local History at the New York State Education Department. A former New York City Museum Educators Roundtable Membership Chair and Steering Committee member, he has been actively engaged in the museum community, helping to coordinate many educational organizations in order to promote collaboration between institutions. Robert has worked in the field a variety of ways over the past eight years as a teacher for the New York City Museum School as well as an educator, administrator and consultant at institutions such as the Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Museum of the City of New York, the Morgan Library and currently, and the South Street Seaport Museum and American Museum of Natural History. He received a BFA from Parsons School of Design/New School for Social Research, his teaching certification from Bank Street College of Education and is presently pursuing graduate studies at New York University.
Street Thoma graduated in 1969 from the Maryland Institute, College of Art with a BFA in Sculpture. In addition to his own art work, he has been both employed and self employed as an architectural scale model builder, co-created the Directory Map (a 3-D "you are here" map that works for blind as well as sighted people), and began creating and teaching with his first Touchable Interpretations of Paintings (for people who are blind) in 1984. He was a consultant to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1995, became their part time ADA Coordinator in '99, and started full time as the Manager of Accessible Programs there in '03.
Elke Zollitsch worked for many years as a primary school and art teacher near Munich , Bavaria . From 1986-89 she was responsible for a teaching project enabling two blind children to fully participate in a regular primary school class. She has extensive experience with integration projects, giving lectures and seminars at universities and congresses around the world. She is involved in the project Work in Clay Field Therapy for Blind Children and has organised several exhibitions of drawings by blind children. She is the a uthor of the book I Know Where I Am: Children born blind draw the world as they experience it (www.blinde -zeichnen.de).Panel 4
Dr. Pamala Rogers has been an artist, art educator, and art therapist for over fifteen years. She is currently the Director of Expressive Art Programs for The Shield Institute and the Pure Vision Art Studio in New York City . She received her doctorate in Art Education from Columbia University 's Teachers College and has spoken at many conferences about a variety of topics related to the arts and people with developmental disabilities, particularly autism.
In addition to her work at The Shield Institute, Pam attends the Institute for Expressive Analysis and is a psychoanalyst in training with a private practice in Manhattan . She is also an artist whose work depicts spiritual and mythological themes related to transcending the human condition. Her work has been included in many exhibitions and private collections.
Mark Andres is the director and member of the Seeing With Photography Collective. The members of the Collective have unique optical abilities ranging from "normal" sight to total blindness. Their work has become well known and widely exhibited. Exhibitions have been held across the US, and throughout the world. In 2002 Aperture published the book Shooting Blind which compiled the early work created by the Collective with light drawing. They have given workshops in locations stretching from here in New York City to as far as the Netherlands , Nebraska, Georgia and Venezuala. Mark also teaches classes at Visions Services for the Blind, The Jewish Guild in Yonkers and Kingsbrook Hospital . He began teaching photography classes for people who are blind and partially sighted eighteen years ago at the Lighthouse in New York City.
Ann Cunningham has been carving stone since she was fifteen years old but it wasn't until 1990 that she wondered if the slate low relief sculptures she was making could be interpreted by touch as well as sight. This question led her to explore how the sense of touch might be trained through art to function on a more informed level. The bas relief stories and exhibits that developed out of this exploration include, most recently, a commission for the National Federation of the Blind. It depicts Erik Weihenmayer's assent of Mount Everest , as the first blind climber to reach the summit.
Since 1998 Ms. Cunningham has been teaching art classes to develop self expression through the sense of touch at the Colorado Center for the Blind. The students at the Center are all at least eighteen years old. This fall she also started teaching art at the Anchor Center , a school for children who are blind or visually impaired, ages birth to five.
Realizing there is a great need for information in alternative formats, she recently launched Sensational Books, a publishing house dedicated to producing visually and tactually accessible books. These multi-sensory books are designed to create an engaging experience and provide meaningful information for people of all abilities and ages.
Since 1996 Betty Haskin has coordinated the Duke University Eye Center Arts Program (est.1985), which operates under the umbrella of Health Arts Network at Duke (HAND), Duke University Medical Center. Ms. Haskin's work includes developing and mounting three- and two-dimensional touchable art exhibitions, curating and caring for Duke Eye Center 's permanent art collection, and developing and fostering arts-in-healthcare projects.
In 1998-99 Ms. Haskin developed and administered the Able Arts North Carolina/Japan Exchange Project , an international project to support the creative work of students who are blind or visually impaired. The project is documented in the 30-minute video, Exceptional Vision .
Before entering the arts-in-healthcare field, she taught college-level art history and studio art for ten years. Ms. Haskin has worked as a professional artist for over twenty years and is involved in all phases of presenting and exhibiting the visual arts. Her professional affiliations include the North Carolina Museums Council, the Society for the Arts in Healthcare, and that organization's Consultant Service. Ms. Haskin serves is a founding member of North Carolina Arts for Health, the nation's first state-wide arts in healthcare organization.
Barry Kleider is a professional photographer and arts educator. His commissions include Oakland Museum of California and the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. A roster artist with the Minnesota State Arts Board, Young Audiences of Minnesota and the North Dakota Council on the Arts, Barry has been teaching photography and visual arts to blind and low-vision students since February of 2004. He lives in Minneapolis . You can view samples of his work on his website, www.barryphotography.com
Sheri Khayami has been a patron of the arts for many years, supporting young artists through various commissions. She holds a BA in International Politics from George Washington University, Washington DC, and speaks four languages. Sheri began to loose her vision at twelve years old. By the time she was sixteen her condition was diagnosed as Kerataconus; a degenerative disease. Her desire to confront and challenge her visual depravation combined with her passion for the arts led to the birth of BlindArt in January 2004. Her dedication and drive has brought together an impressive team, which took BlindArt from obscurity to a recognized organization in one year.
Janet Simon has been the Executive Director of the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children since 1985. Prior to her appointment, Dr. Simon held other administrative and teaching positions at the School. She was trained in Special Education at the University of Pittsburgh , University of Alabama , and Harvard University.
Dr. Simon's primary interests are curriculum for students with significant disabilities and public policy toward people with disabilities. In addition to administrative work, Dr. Simon has generated a number of professional publications and presentations.
Janet Simon is immensely proud of the faculty and staff of the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children fir their unending interest in designing and delivering effective educational programs.
Carol Kreiser has worked at the Western Pennsylvania School for Blind Children for twenty eight years; ten years as a paraprofessional, three years as a classroom teacher and fourteen years as the art teacher. During her years as art teacher she and her students have participated in art shows open to the public, community projects, and local and national art contests. Two of their biggest projects were in partnership with the Carnegie Museum ; a twenty foot Christmas tree for their annual display in 1992 and a teal, purple and gold dinosaur in 2003.
Pearl Rosen , M.F.A., is an artist, arts educator, college lecturer, museum professional, and consultant on museum accessibility and exhibition design. For over twenty years Pearl has been developing programs for people with special needs that consider the best ways for them to access and participate in the arts. She has been affiliated with many institutions creating and implementing programs: ArtAccess, Queens Museum of Art; Artist Placement Initiative, Studio In a School; Arts and Cultural Initiatives at the National Center for Disability Services. Pearl teaches courses in art education and art for children with special needs for Queens College, New Perspectives at Bank Street College, the College of New Rochelle. Pearl speaks on access related topics and served on several advisory boards including the New York State Council on the Arts, New York Hall of Science, Brooklyn Children's Museum and The Lower East Side Tenement Museum. Pearl has been affiliated with Art Beyond Sight and has written a chapter in their book, Art Beyond Sight, a Resource Guide to Art, Creativity and Visual Impairment.