Sensing Culture Conference, Trinity House, London - 1st May 2018

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Keynote File: EUAckRNIBTrinityHouseKeynoteMay2018 (1)

"About Sensing Culture:

Sensing Culture is a Heritage Lottery Fund funded project working with blind and partially sighted people to open up heritage at museums, landmarks, archives and collections. The project will conclude on Tuesday 1st May 2018 at the Sensing Culture Conference, which is open to anyone to attend.

Sensing Culture aims to increase the independence of blind and partially sighted visitors, professionals, artists, and volunteers by training staff and volunteers at the partner heritage sites and implementing practical solutions. In support of this, interaction at these sites has been increased and meaningful learning experiences created by using technology, audio description and tactile panels.

Sensing Culture has been led by the Royal National Institute of the Blind and delivered with the support of several prestigious heritage organisations, including a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The partners of Sensing Culture are:

• Oxford University Museums
• The Canterbury Cluster (Canterbury Museums and Galleries, Canterbury Library and Canterbury Cathedral)
• Lewes Castle in Sussex, part of the Sussex Archaeological Society
• The Conan Doyle Collection in Portsmouth, part of Portsmouth Council and Libraries

About the Conference:
The Sensing Culture Conference is an opportunity for those interested in making museums and heritage sites more accessible for blind and partially sighted people to find out the successes, challenges and learnings from the project. It will:

• Bring together like-minded people who share the same goal of making museums, heritage sites, and the heritage sector more accessible
• Showcase good practice from across the museum/heritage sector, including the Sensing Culture project
• Get you thinking about what you can do
• Highlight future opportunities

It will also be the first chance to see the launch of the new Sensing Culture website, which will be a one stop shop for information and guidance on making museums and heritage sites more accessible following the completion of this project.

The Programme:

We are delighted to be hosting a wide range of talks from people involved in the Sensing Culture project. The keynote speakers for the day are Liz Ellis and Caroline George (Heritage Lottery Fund), and Simon Hayhoe (University of Bath). The full progamme is below:

09:30 Registration

10:00 Welcome & Sensing Culture project overview (including film screening) - Jen Orrell, RNIB

10:30 Morning keynote & Q&A (Library Room)

Simon Hayhoe, University of Bath - 'Blind Visitor Experiences at Art Museums':

As part of the legacy for the Sensing Culture project, Simon Hayhoe worked with us to launch the 'Community of Practice' for Sensing Culture. It will encourage the heritage sector, academics and blind and partially sighted people to work together to further continue, develop, and widen the impact of the project. Simon’s highly reputed work has broken down assumptions that people who are blind or partially sighted cannot understand the visual arts. In his keynote, he will explain why visual arts experiences shouldn't be limited to people with full sight. He will reveal what blind and partially sighted people are able to experience with visual art, and the effects of vision loss or no vision on a cultural identity in art.

Simon Hayhoe is a leading academic in the field of blindness, education, and the arts. He is Lecturer in Education at University of Bath and Research Associate in the Centre for the Philosophy of Natural & Social Science, London School of Economics.

11:10 Networking break

11:30 Workshops / Talks with Q&A (see options)

Option 1 (Library Room) – Talk and Q&A: Surface Impression

Option 2 (Pepys Room) – Workshop: Wendy Daws BEM (artist) & Manda Gifford (Beaney House of Art & Knowledge) – ‘Using art & making workshops as part of museums and galleries health and wellbeing programmes’

Manda will give a brief overview of the Beaney’s health and wellbeing programmes and involvement in the Sensing Culture project, and artist Wendy Daws will give a practical taster workshop of ‘foil work’ that was used during workshops for blind and partially sighted people during the Sensing Culture project.

Manda Gifford manages work with people affected by issues such as dementia, homelessness, social isolation and visual impairment at the Beaney House of Art & Knowledge (now an NPO for health and wellbeing).

Wendy’s art practice is centred around museum approaches to visually impaired visitors and tactile interpretations.

12:05 Workshops / Talks with Q&A (see options)

Option 1 (Library Room) - Talk and Q&A: Oxford University Museums

Option 2 (Pepys Room) - Workshop: Shelly Boden & Liz Porter – ‘What we learnt from testing apps with blind and partially sighted users’

Shelley and Liz will share successes, challenges and learnings from access testing the Lewes Castle app with blind and partially sighted users. Shelley will also share initial designs and audio from The Beaney's app, and you can try creating an access user test plan for it. They’ll round up some tips for creating accessible apps.

Shelley Boden is passionate about access and museums and galleries, and been user testing websites, apps and interactives with assistive technology users for 25 years. She is an access consultant, recently with the D-Day museum and the European Agency for Inclusion, and is access and technology consultant for Sensing Culture.

12:35 Buffet Lunch & networking (Court Room)

13:10 Afternoon keynote & Q&A (Library Room)

Liz Ellis and Caroline George, Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) - 'HLF funding and accessibility':

This talk will explore funding opportunities for projects which increase access and remove barriers to inclusion for people with disabilities. It will give some case studies of organisations which have used HLF grants, from £3,000 upwards, to deliver projects focusing on improving accessibility at their sites. It will also share some examples of steps which applicants can take to embed access and inclusion within all heritage projects.

Liz Ellis is HLF's Policy Adviser for Communities and Diversity, and Caroline is HLF's Grants Officer, South East England.

13:55 Workshops / Talks with Q&A (see options)

Option 1 (Library Room) – Talk and Q&A: Annie Lucas - Sensing Culture evaluation

As the consultant appointed to evaluate Sensing Culture, Annie is in a unique position to provide an overview of the findings of her report, sharing with delegates not only the highlights from the project but also some unexpected surprises which have come about and will leave a lasting impact as project legacy.

Annie has been immersed in the cultural and heritage sectors for nearly 20 years. As an experienced consultant working on varied assignments including funding applications, interpretation and audience development planning and delivery, strategic planning and evaluation, she has an specialist interest in inclusive access to cultural and heritage sites.

Option 2 (Pepys Room) – Workshop: Lynn Gayford (Lewes Castle) - 'The Audio Guide and What Happened Next?'

This workshop explains the range of resources that grew out of our audio description training. Participants will have a chance to try the app, use a sound pen, listen to the audio guide, hear a story, handle some artefacts and try some sensory activities.

Lynn Gayford is Head of Learning Lewes Castle. Having worked in museums in London and Brighton for over 20 years, Lynn now run the learning team at Lewes Castle and Anne of Cleves House for Sussex Archaeological Society.

14:25 Break and networking

14:45 Workshops / Talks with Q&A (see options)

Option 1 (Library Room) - Talk and Q&A: Portsmouth (Arthur Conan Doyle Collection)

Option 2 (Pepys Room) – Workshop: Lonny Evans – ‘Audio Description in Museums and Heritage sites - providing an equal experience for blind and partially sighted visitors’

This workshop will look at how venues can offer a 'way in' using audio description for blind and partially sighted visitors to exhibitions that might otherwise be inaccessible.

Lonny Evans has been a professional Audio Describer for eighteen years - working with Museums and Heritage sites since 2008. She worked on the Sensing Culture Project as an Audio Description Trainer. Lonny has created and recorded Described Audio Guides for Brighton Museum and the Towner Gallery as well as iBeacon trails for Lewes Castle and the Beaney Museum. Lonny works at the British Museum for VocalEyes delivering tours and writing accessible guides.

15:20 Workshops/Talks with Q&A

Option 1 (Library Room) – Talk and Q&A: Richard Navarro (composer) & Manda Gifford (Beaney House of Art & Knowledge) - 'Playing Paintings: composing, performing and creating new technology in a museums and galleries health and wellbeing programme'

Brief overview of the Beaney’s health and wellbeing programmes and involvement in the Sensing Culture project. This will be followed by Richard showing of the Butterfly Project film and some background to its development, including photos from the earlier Sensing Culture music project, and an introduction to the website. There will be a demonstration of the machine and a chance to ‘have a go’ of the ‘travel’ version of the Machine.

Manda Gifford manages work with people affected by issues such as dementia, homelessness, social isolation and visual impairment at the Beaney House of Art & Knowledge (now an NPO for health and wellbeing).

Richard Navarro is a composer, performer and educator using music, words and technology to inspire and entertain.

Option 2 (Pepys Room) - Workshop: Tanya (Sensing Culture eZine Volunteer) – ‘The Volunteer Viewpoint’

The focus of the presentation is to showcase the role of audio both in the Sensing Culture eZine and at Lewes Castle. The eZine was set up by volunteers in order to report on the progress made by the partners and Tanya’s role has been to contribute audio articles charting the work done with the soundscape and audio app at Lewes Castle. Tanya will discuss the process involved in the making of the audio, and the rewards and the challenges of volunteering in this field. She will present an example of the podcasts which feature interviews with Lynn Gayford, the Head of Learning at Lewes Castle and Joseph Young, the sound artist responsible for the soundscape. Tanya will celebrate good practice, evaluate the impact of audio and raise awareness of the role of volunteers.

Outside of my role as part-time Head of History in a London comprehensive school I do radio and voice over work. I have produced podcasts for heritage sites and provided audio description for short films. I’ve worked on inter-generational oral history projects and produced short radio programmes on aspects of local history.

15:50 Close & legacy

16:00 Optional networking

16:30 End

National Lottery and Heritage Lottery Fund logos alongside the text Fundraising raised by The National Lottery and awarded by the Heritage Lottery Fund" RNIB Sensing Culture

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