Inclusive Design Workshop
The British Council Portugal invited international designers to join a design team to work with artists with special needs from Fundacao LIGA Studios. The idea was to develop a series of images to commemorate the British Council's 80th Anniversary.
We chose Tokyo-based British Designer Laila Cassim to supervise and advise the designers. Laila has significant experience in this area of inclusive art and design practice.
Watch some of the workshop highlights in this Inclusive Design Workshop video.
This Project aimed to help promote the artistic talents of disabled artists through designing stamps. But it had a wider aim of improving the artists' social and financial independence through creating revenue from the imagery from the stamps and their accompanying products.
(It is said the rate of unemployment and poverty for adults with disability is twice that of a non-disabled adult (UN Report 2016).
The project also aimed to showcase Lisbon as an inclusive city which promotes the creative talent of disabled artists.
Our work in audio description and accessibility in Portugal
Many people think that the visually impaired have no interest in visiting exhibitions or attending shows and performances. The truth is that the interest exists, the practice as well, but often the experience as complete as it could be because of the absence of audio description.
Here is our work so far
Course: Introduction to audio description techniques – March 2016
A partnership between the British Council and Acesso Cultura, this course
- defined and discussed the importance of audio description for creating a more inclusive and accessible culture
- examined how to produce an audio description script adapted to various artistic and cultural events
- gave trainees the opportunity to work the production and narration of a script .
- Our trainer, Anaisa Raquel, had the opportunity to travel to the UK and meet with VocalEyes – one of the British experts in audio description – and attend one of their training courses
- Twenty culture professionals working in museums, monuments, theatres, foundations, as well as actors attended the course
Seminar with VocalEyes – 08 March 2016
In partnership with Acesso Cultura, and with the support of the Programa Descobrir of the Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, we organised a seminar on 08 March with VocalEyes looking at their philosophy and their working methods.
- Twenty eight people from diverse cultural organisations attended the seminar.
Debate: Access to the Arts - a management issue?
March 2016; D. Maria II National Theatre
The debate was delivered to answer the following questions:
- How to achieve a real breakthrough in the promotion of awareness and practice in the area of accessibility - physical, social, intellectual - if there is no commitment at management level? And what would that commitment look like?
- Would there be differences in how we promoted access to culture in Portugal and the UK?
Speakers: Andrew Holland; Roz Chalmers. Andrew was instrumental in setting up VocalEyes in 1998 and spent 10 years as Head of Description. He is a describer, trainer and adviser. He describes regularly at the Royal National Theatre. Roz worked for many years as a lipspeaker for deaf people. She was trained in 2000 and joined the team of audio describers at the Royal National Theatre and now combines that with work for VocalEyes and with Stagetext, a charity providing captions in theatre for deaf people.
- 100 professionals from diverse cultural organisations looked at access in cultural management and the responsibility of every member of the team, starting from the President of the Board / Museum or Theatre Director etc.
- The discussion panels included the National Theatre, EGEAC – Lisbon’s Municipal Company for Culture), the Sub-Director General of Cultural Heritage (the organisations managing museums and monuments), a disabled artist, as well as VocalEyes and Tate Modern.
The programme and the recordings of the sessions are available online
Read about the impact the event had. See "Access to the arts: a question of management" on pages 20 and 21 of the publication “Access Culture 2013-2016: What’s changed?”
Audio description texts – British Council Collection Portugal
In 2016 as part of our work in audio description and accessibility, the British Council invited three of the students that attended the course on audio description to describe the art works from the British Council Collection currently on display in the Lisbon building. These are currently only available in Portuguese.
If you would like more details, or you would like to visit the Collection in Lisbon, please contact Isabel Lopes.
We are organising some profession al audio-guided tours of our Art Collection. The dates are 20 November and 19 December at 18.00. Further dates to be announced. To reserve a place please send Isabel Lopes an email at least one week in advance.
Meet the Audio describers
We organised an event where our students met visually impaired people to share with them questions about their day to day live. The event was very positive, the students enjoyed it, and asked lots of questions. The information was also shared on Facebook.
More about Arts and Accessibility
We have participated in the Accessibility Week at Gulbenkian Foundation contributing with audio guided tours for visual impaired people.