On Saturday 17th January, Wac Arts hosted a WACCESS Open Day to celebrate Disabled Access Day. The aim of this day, sponsored by Euan’s Guide – the online disability access review site, is to promote the importance of disabled access to venues, events, activities and everyday places across the UK. As Kiki MacDonald, Co-Founder at EuansGuide.com, commented:
“We’re very proud to be the sponsors for Disabled Access Day. Promoting good disabled access is at the core of what we do, so this campaign is close to our hearts. We hope many people get involved with the initiative, and feel inspired to see a part of the country they’ve never seen, or engage in activities that they don’t typically do.”
Wac Arts was proud to be part of this exciting campaign and opened its doors to young people, their friends, families and carers for what was a fun day of free activities for everyone to get involved in. Highlights of the WACCESS Open Day included, African dance classes, a Boccia Bowls tournament, table tennis, drumming and of course, a bit of a party! It was a fantastic opportunity to get disabled young people and their wider communities engaged in new activities and showcase just some of the inclusive opportunities that Wac Arts has to offer.
“I have had a brilliant time and loved trying lots of new things. I gave it all my energy. You should definitely have more open days like today!” Participant who attended WACCESS at Wac Arts.
A big thank you Euan’s guide and The Disabled Access Day organisers – we look forward to next year!
Wac Arts Interactive held its second CiFi (Creative Interaction for Inclusion) Think Tank meeting on January 22nd. These 6 monthlymeetings bring together a wide range of professionals working in inclusive media and technology and disability, project workers and youth ambassadors to discuss the project’s progress and potential technological innovationsto best guide and adapt its delivery and maximise the potential outcomes for its beneficiaries and the the Fun and Friendship programme.In this second CiFi Think Tankwe were lucky enough to host presentations from two experts who are leading in the field of inclusive technology, detailing their workshop plans for the Wac Arts Interactive core group this year. Charles Matthews gave a working example of his Max/Msp – Myra project, which will introduce concepts of app design, whilst Alejandro Gallego talked about adapting his professional video mapping work into an accessible and engaging communication tool for young people at Wac Arts.
We also heard from Euan’s Guide about Wac Arts Interactive’s first contributions to the video review section of their website followed by a Euan’s Guide Challange where the CiFi group filmed their own 1-minute video reviews exploring disabled accessfor venues across London. The following discussion provided a fantastic opportunity to hear from a range of disciplines and domains who offered their insights into emerging technologies, the impact of rapid developments in technology on future programming and potential strategies on how best to influence and inform policy makers on disability issues.
Thanks you to everyone who came along and contributed to the event. The next CiFI Think Tank will be in July of this year. If you would like to register your place at the next meeting or for more information, email the Project Coordinator Kate Watson.
“I was fascinated to learn the degree to which the Wac Arts interactive programme really helps to reach and bring young disabled people out of themselves where other methods have not worked. It seems that the technology has a power to engage these young people on a really visceral level and enable them to socialise and contribute in ways that I had not fully appreciated. It made me realise the unique power of technology in this context. It will certainly affect how I develop the workshops for this group now – perhaps to take them to a much more visceral as well as interactive level to meet the needs I am increasingly becoming aware of. If the prime aim is to enable ‘connectedness’ then this has to be at the core of my workshops with the young people, art in this context being to facilitate this rather than solely focusing on ‘creativity’ and ‘self-expression’.” Lorna McNeill, attendee.