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Sensory Objects Enterprise - Co-Development and Start Up project AHRC Follow on Fund Project pupleSTARS

Allen, K. ORCID:, Hwang, F. ORCID: and Minnion, A. (2017) Sensory Objects Enterprise - Co-Development and Start Up project AHRC Follow on Fund Project pupleSTARS. [Project]

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purpleSTARS developed from the award-winning Sensory Objects (2012 – 2015) The project aimed to improve the accessibility of our cultural heritage for those with learning disabilities, helping them interpret museums, galleries and archives by combining art, technology and opportunities to explore using all our senses. Sensory Objects was led by artists and technologists fromthe University of Reading with co investigators from RIX Research and Media at the University of East London. Collaborating with co-researchers from; Liverpool Mencap Access to Heritage forum (A2H); Reading College Learners with Learning Difficulties and Disabilities Department; and the Tower Project London. The Sensory Object research project worked with museums and heritage sites including, Speke Hall (Liverpool), The Museum of English Rural Life (Reading) and The British Museum (London). The research project underscored the need for accessible heritage interpretation developed with and by those with disabilities, and, the benefits of their wider involvement in the sector. The follow on funded Sensory Objects Enterprise - Co Development and Start Up project, purpleSTARS was founded to fulfil this need and build on the successful practice developed by researchers during the Sensory Objects project. purpleSTARS brings together artists and technologists with and without learning difficulties/disabilities totransform museum experiences and make them really inclusive. The enterprise aims to: • Create sustainable employment opportunities for people with learning disabilities as artists and technologists to help make museums engaging and inclusive. • Enable museums to bring a richer sensory perspective to their collections and use digital tools to widen the appeal and inclusivity of what is on offer. • Support people with learning disabilities to communicate their insights and expertise so as to augment sensory museum experiences. • Work with museum teams to rethink the design and curation of their collections with people with learning disabilities to widen their appeal to everyone.

Item Type:Project
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Art > Fine Art
ID Code:72865
Additional Information:Annie Grant wrote feature 'Please Do Touch’ about purpleSTARS with a pull out resource featuring samples of our Sensory Expeditions Workbook for 'Special Children’ 244 September/October 2018 magazine published by Optimus Education UK, pages 20-29, ISSN 0951-6875 purpleSTARS created a pop up museum part of Reading Assembly Tate Exchange 2018 The purpleSTARS have received their first commission and will consult for Glenside Hospital Museum (Bristol) in 2018.purpleSTARS visited Glenside Hospital Museum 25.06.18 to share their sensory labels and wikis with the Bristol Team. purpleSTARS co-presented on Friday 4th April 2018 on 'Preparing for Adulthood', a workshop for Swiss Cottage School for children with complex learning difficulties, emotional, behavioural and communication difficulties, an Erasmus+ Project with Professionals from Lithuania, Sweden and the UK that aims to work together to shape new and innovative learning opportunities for young people with learning disabilities, which will address barriers to accessing employment and community. purpleSTARS are part of the WOLFSON ADVISORY PANEL at The British Museum, collaborating towards a participatory event at the British Museum on December 3rd 2018 purpleSTARS were commissioned to create 3 interactives for MERL working with Reading College Learners with learning difficulties and disabilities dept launch date at MERL early 2019 MERL and Reading college also working together to create an internship at the museum. purpleSTARS were awarded £5000 commission from the Rix Thompson Rothenberg Foundation to develop a sensory trail for the Olympic Park working with The Building Exploratory in London during 2019. purpleSTARS presented to the Museum of London ‘New Museum Conversation’ on May 23rd 2018 and are collaborating on further work for 2019. August 2018 we hosted two interns from aTempo Austria an agency for people with disabilities who wanted to visit MERL and find out about our work VR interactive experiences and placements. August 2018 purpleSTARS employed its first employee Judith Appiah as part of the government Building Better Opportunities Scheme. September 2018 purpleSTARS hosted Amélie Nadeau from TOHU a non-profit organization dedicated to Circus, Environment and Community located in the Cité des Arts du Cirque home of the International Headquarters of the Cirque du Soleil. TOHU’s educational service came on an exploratory mission funded by the British Council of Arts and the Québec Ministry of culture and communications. Inclusive Education: Innovative Practices and technologies is the title of this project. The goal of the mission is to learn from the most innovative inclusive practices in UK. We will be especially aware about the use of technology as a tool to promote accessibility. The project is meant to be the first step of long term partnerships to share about the inclusive initiatives in Canada and England. We will be writing the second step of the project this fall.

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