These hands were made for speaking.

Artist, designers and public- look at their hands. photo 1-2

We use them to elucidate a point, comfort each other when the installation breaks down, ask for room for our wheelchair and to speak to each other in ASL.

Tonight, at the Inclusive Design Institute we see more hand gestures than ever.

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Some installations are all about user interface design, others beg to be touched. And at this exhibition you can.

Accessibility is not a word that OCADU only throws around in its second year Inclusive Design class.

Although we need more of it in every class, you can see on a night like tonight that the designers and artists of OCADU start thinking about their project with Access as a starting point.

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Not something dropped in when your project is done, but something without which your project can’t get off the ground at all.

At OCADU students- people with disabilities- design.

They are the ones making us question the constructs around disabilities.

And they have done it with humour, with electronics, with sadness, anger, with pencils, with wood, with metal and with the cool, clear knowledge that they are unique, excellent designers and artists whose disabilities and experience are a terrific source of inspiration. photo 5-1

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How to make communication work: salsa and blinds.

32 Pigeons has devised a system that would be ideal for lovers living in buildings opposite each other or for spies trying to outfox James Bond. photo 4-1

Too bad the Cold War is over.

Then again, pandas notwithstanding, the Economic Red War is just starting.

Keep you eyes open, Panda! Romeo and Julia: don’t worry about climbing the vines. Here you have the ideal language.

Another thing about communication. We never stop.

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And we navigate an exhibition with our fingers on the keys of our I-Phones and our gaze alternates between the woman on the wall, the artist explaining her work and the organizer interpreting the student’s body language. Meta if you ever encountered it.

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Eye gesture based communication

Alexei Vella’s ‘Vessel’ suspended in air. This young man couldn’t leave the installation.

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An eye gesture based communication system. Sit in front of it and let your eyes guide the keys on the keyboard. The verbalized equivalent of Toronto’s Eagle-eyes eye gesture based painting.photo 2-1

Eenzil Barker admires Brooke Waynes work.

photo 4Dina Beleia’s work calls out to people- it’s one where many linger. Fatigue shows stressed and entangled body parts with flowing lines and delicate pencil strokes.

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Artists find each other in every crowd. Spirit Synott, dancer and photographer explains her work to Spencer J. Harrison.

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Opening night.

OCADU president Sarah Diamond makes a round with post-doc David Perreyra.

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Attendees mingle at the Inclusive Design Institute. Just enough room for conversation and for a close look at the art work.

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Interacting with design. Learning Chinese with the Simpsons.

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Gord Waller, Interstices – The Disability Gaze

Gordon Waller

­Interstices – The Disability Gaze

“Barely visible pairs of eyes cast their gaze inward, duping the viewer, causing a realization at a point of temporal recognition.

Gordon Waller’s mural of reflections affixed to the windows at the Open Gallery, serves as a metaphor for awareness and empathy. It is intended to create the feeling of being stared at as the other, making us uneasy.  Waller’s intervention casts the disability gaze, back onto the viewer, creating displacement. The viewer questions what they see and experiences a sense of loss of reality, through a sensory and perceptual experience. Sound art of whispering indexing people, is an accessible accompaniment to the visual installation, enhancing the sensory experience.

Disability is socially reflective in the built environment, technology and transportation. However, the true underlying barrier is attitude and perception, and in this installation we are subject to scrutiny and rendered invisible through presence and absence.”

Workshop ‘Disruption’ by Sarah Crosskey.

Workshop by Sarah Crosskey: “Self Awareness Through Disruption: Questioning, Unraveling and Reframing”

Description: How can your vulnerability open the door to questioning society’s assumptions and values?

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This interactive performance unravels these notions and offers a new perspective. Participate in the following exploratory group activity to reexamine society’s assumptions.
Sarah Crosskey has a background in sculpture, performance and installation. She is currently a graduate student in the Inclusive Design program at OCAD University