Arts for all!
Updated: Feb 27
"VISUALLY IMPAIRED UTAH STUDENTS PUSH FOR MORE ACCESSIBILITY IN THE ARTS!"
15 ". . . visually impaired students are learning how to address setbacks like this at Accessible Arts Academy, a program for visually impaired students statewide offered through Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind."
"Robbin Clark, expanded core curriculum coordinator for the Utah Schools for the Deaf and Blind [stated], 'We want to teach students to find solutions because problems don't create change, solutions create change. The three-week educational program is aimed at teaching visually impaired students about the arts and how to work with communities they live in to make arts more accessible to everyone. This isn't an extracurricular activity, this is part of the education needs of students with vision impairments'".
The school currently partners with several local Utah companies including the Eccles Theater in Salt Lake City, Sky Hop, and even judge Blessing Offor from TV series, "The Voice". The reason for these interactions, "according to Clark, is to expose people to the visually impaired community.'People get to see the ability before the disability,' she said."
This project not only boosts the confidence and skill set of the students and encourage arts enriched lives, but encourages the community to be more aware of the barriers that exist, and to see the students for what they are able to contribute and create.
After visiting Sky Hop where the students were able to compose their own original songs with the help of braille push boards, employees mentioned how creative these students are, with an emphasis on future careers and impacts that extended their previous beliefs of the group.
After his discussions with them, Blessing Offor offered this advice--"More than thinking of themselves as a blind musician, just be a great musician and your skill set will take you further than anything else."
The project is more than accessibility, although it is that, it's the recognition of creative artists and the impact of arts on all of our lives.The students express this in their message to all that, "It's not about what we can see it's about what we do."
Article and Photo Credit: https://www.ksl.com/article/46492320/visually-impaired-utah-students-push-for-accessibility-in-the-arts