Interrogating Access

Resources for artists and organisations: A series of talks and workshops on accessibility in art and media production

Watch all of the activities online! 

Interrogating access: resources for artists and organisations is a series of conferences and workshops in 2019-2020 aiming to gather the tools necessary to stimulate better access practices in visual and media arts. Although accessibility guidelines are freely available [1], local independent arts centres seem slow to adhere to them. One important challenge many of us face – including OBORO – is the fact that our spaces are not barrier-free. However, these physical constraints do not justify the limited measures taken to accommodate other types of publics and participants, whose disabilities are unrelated to mobility.

Jointly developed by OBORO and Spectrum Productions, and benefiting from the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Interrogating Access series of activities aims to equip artists, organisations, and cultural workers with the means to think through accessibility in broader terms, and to learn from the best access practices already undertaken in the cultural sector in Canada and abroad.

In addition to the series, OBORO and Spectrum Productions’ Creative Media Lab have launched a pilot crossover thematic residency offering support for two Montreal-based artists to explore access-related tools in the creative process. Alexis Bulman was awarded the Interrogating Access residency and Claudette Lemay is undertaking a residency in creative audiodescription.

About Spectrum Productions and their Creative Media Lab:
Spectrum Productions creates opportunities for youth and young adults on the Autism spectrum through video and media production. They are committed to providing quality experiences with film and media production through easy access to tools, equipment and guidance needed to make personal and collaborative media projects.

Spectrum Production’s Creative Media Lab (CML) uses media skills training in areas such as video editing, sound recording, camera operation, 2D and stop-motion animation. The Creative Media Lab is a project-based, skills development program where individuals explore their specific media interests. The program encourages primarily media creation, and collaboration, placing participants with common interests together in situations that build social skills. The CML provides a solid foundation to those who would like to continue film studies at the postsecondary level, or as an entry point into the film industry or to follow a career in the arts.

Information regarding accessibility:
All activities are free of charge and presented in barrier-free spaces. The public is also asked to help keep the space scent-free. During English-language conferences or workshops, ASL interpretation will be provided, while LSQ interpretation will be offered during French-language sessions. In an effort to balance organizational capacity with accessibility ideals, all public sessions will be recorded, transcribed and translated, and these documentation materials will subsequently be made freely available on our website.

[1] See, for instance:
Smithsonian Guidelines for Accessible Exhibition DesignHumber College and Tangled Art + Disability, Accessibility Toolkit: A Guide to Making Art Spaces AccessibleReelAbilities, ReelAccess: A Guide to Accessible Film Festivals and Screenings, 2016SpillPROpagation, Embaucher des interprètes en langue des signes


Thank you to our project partners and participants:


Accessible Media Inc. (AMI)ArtexteArtist-Run Centres and Collectives Conference (ARCA)Conseil québécois des arts médiatiques (CQAM)Critical Disability Studies Working Group (CDSWG)ExekoGroupe Intervention VidéoIndependent Media Arts Alliance (IMAA)ReelAbilities TorontoSpill-PROpagationStudio XXVidéographe.