Published January 19, 2021

Collections and Accessibility Workshop
January 28, 2021 – Online

The relationship between art and disability has a rich but complex history. Although disability arts as a sector has only recently been acknowledged and supported in Canada, disability arts as a practice by disabled artists has always existed in one form or another.

While today, we recognize that art galleries and museums are mandated to serve the ‘general public’; however, many disabled people are barred from fully experiencing what galleries have to offer. Not only can spaces exclude through physical barriers, but many galleries and museums also are not accessible in their programming, exhibitions and collections.

This workshop provides an introduction to disability arts, tracing the gaps in galleries, accessibility and inclusion in their programs. This workshop will also address the gaps of accessibility online. Institutions need strategies to make their online and physical spaces more accessible and actively resist the compulsory able-bodiedness of the “visual” arts as a whole.

Sessions included:

  • discussion on disability arts and justice;
  • case studies discussing web and digital access and practices in gallery spaces;
  • panel discussion on current practices and the future of accessibility in the gallery sector.

Sean Lee, Director of Programming – Tangled Arts + Disability
David Bobier, Media artist and founder of VibraFusionLab
Eliza Chandler, PhD, Assistant Professor, School of Disability Studies, Ryerson University
Yasmeen Nematt Alla, Communications Manager, Akimbo Art Promotions
Emily Cook, Education / Accessibility Programs Director, Critical Distance Centre for Curators

GOG gratefully acknowledges the funding contribution from the Museums Assistance Program, the Department of Canadian Heritage.