Interactive Sensory Objects for and by People with Learning Disabilities

By Nic Hollinworth, Kate Allen, Faustina Hwang, Andy Minnion MBE and Gosia Kwiatkowska.

Published by The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: January 8, 2016 $US5.00

This project engages people with learning disabilities to participate as co-researchers and explore museum interpretation through multisensory workshops using microcontrollers and sensors to enable alternative interactive visitor experiences in museums and heritage sites. This article describes how the project brings together artists, engineers, and experts in multimedia advocacy, as well as people with learning disabilities in the co-design of interactive multisensory objects that replicate or respond to objects of cultural significance in our national collections. Through a series of staged multi-sensory art and electronics workshops, people with learning disabilities explore how the different senses could be utilised to augment existing artefacts or create entirely new ones. The co-researchers employ multimedia advocacy tools to reflect on and to communicate their experiences and findings.

Keywords: Sensory Objects, Learning Disability, Visitors, Museums, Accessible Electronics

The International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, Volume 9, Issue 1, March 2016, pp.21-38. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: January 8, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.003MB)).

Dr. Nic Hollinworth

Post-doctoral Research Assistant, School of Systems Engineering, University of Reading, Reading, UK

Dr. Kate Allen

Associate Professor, Art Lecturer/Researcher, Department of Art University of Reading, Reading, UK

Dr. Faustina Hwang

Associate Professor, Interactive Systems Reserach Group, University of Reading, Reading, UK

Andy Minnion MBE

Director of Rix Centre, Rix Centre, University of East London, London, UK

Gosia Kwiatkowska

Senior Lecturer, The Rix Centre, University of East London, London, UK


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