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DPA @ Arts and Disability Forum 2017 – 20 April 2017

This week, DPA was at the Arts and Disability Forum (ADF 2017) which was held at the Enabling Village and saw an incredible turnout of practicioners, policy-makers, and international NGOs. In its third year overall, and second year working with co-organisers from the National Arts Council, British Council and Singapore International Foundation, ADF 2017 will highlight ways to shape a more inclusive society through opportunities for meaningful collaborations for artistic development within the disability sector.

Over the past three years, ADF has grown from a half-day forum with a focus on bringing together healthcare professionals, artists and policy makers to raise awareness about the gaps between the arts and disability sectors, to the current – two days of programming with insights from keynote speakers with local, regional and international perspectives on a variety of topics surrounding the theme of inclusiveness, empowerment and collaboration. The theme for 2017 is Shaping Perspectives and Enabling Opportunities.

While the conference’s focus was on the arts, and how dramatic, as well as literary arts can be utilised to help enhance the lives of the disabled, many of the points shared were definitely useful for us at DPA.

While there were many incredible sessions, the one that truly stood out for DPA had to be by the Disabled Association (Hong Kong). The session on “reThink disAbility” was presented by Ms Myra Tam, Executive Director at Arts with the Disabled Association (Hong Kong).

Sharing about her experience on how Hong Kong has taken steps to make musicals and galleries more inclusive for the disabled, Ms Tam also brought along some tactile projections that would usually be placed in museums. These tactile projections had raised bumps, lines and curves, so that the visually impaired individual would be able to “feel” their way through the painting.

Below are images that help to illustrate the idea of a tactile projections:


Ms Tam also explained how there could be a variety of tactile projections. Below, is one such tile that utilises different materials to give a “real feel” to the visually impaired individual. The monkey was made of a woolly material, while the tree bark was made from wooden sticks overlaid to represent the rough bark.


DPA definitely had an incredible time at ADF 2017, and looks forward to the event next year.


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