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November 15, 2022

Music Software Accessibility Symposium

As part of the AHRC-funded Bridging the Gap research project, the Augmented Instruments Lab and Performance without Barriers research group at Queen’s University Belfast are hosting a one-day event in London on the subject of understanding and improving blind and visually impaired (VIB) access to music technology. The aim of the event is to share the work done so far by ourselves and others, but importantly to generate discussion and ideas on where this work may go in the future. The event, taking place 17 November 2022 at Iklectik Art Lab, features panel discussions, keynote presentations and technology demonstrations of the latest accessible technology.

Presentations, panels and activities taking place are as follows:

  • An overview of the Bridging the Gap Research Project, given by Alex Lucas, Jacob Harrison and James Cunningham
  • A keynote presentation from Scott Chesworth, a key figure in the development of the Osara accessibility extension for Reaper, and a contributor to the Reaper Access online community.
  • Talks from representatives from two organisations: Sound without Sight and UCAN productions, to discuss ways they are supporting VIB people to access music technology and the creative arts.
  • A panel discussion, hosted by James Cunningham, with the guests of the Bridging the Gap podcast sharing their perspectives on VIB access to music technology.
  • Accessible digital audio workstation (DAW) demonstrations given by Jason Dasent, Andre Louis, Scott Chesworth and Bryan Matthews. They will demonstrate accessible workflows in Pro Tools, Logic, Reaper and GarageBand for iOS. Andre will also demonstrate Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol with Native Access.
  • A design workshop, using Lego parts, to build low-fidelity prototypes of possible new (or old) technologies that may improve VIB DAW access.
  • A keynote presentation from Professor Chi Kim, who will speak about his work on the Flo Tools accessibility extension and a recent collaboration with Avid to improve the accessibility of Sibelius.
  • A panel discussion with representatives from Focusrite, Ableton and Creative United, on initiatives within the music technology industry to improve VIB access.
  • A closing live music performance and open mic stage

Further information and schedule can be found on the Performance without Barriers event page.

(Image credit: Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash)