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Arts & Culture

Live Audio Description: What's Really Going On

I feel very fortunate to have the luxury of being an audio description snob. Now, if a movie or TV show doesn’t offer AD, I think three times about whether I want to bother with it. But audio description isn’t just for the movie theater or TV anymore. Increasingly, it’s becoming possible for blind and visually impaired people do access description for a wider range of cultural experiences like stage productions, art and museum exhibits, and sporting events. Recently, I had the chance to experience some live audio description that expanded my perception of my home city.

I like living in a city, especially one as diverse as Toronto. That said, I think of my affection mostly in practical terms: where can I go? What can I do? Who can I meet?

Canadian Human Rights Museum set to open in Winnipeg (September 20, 2014)

In January 2013, Stuart Murray CEO of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) announced the Museum had embraced an approach to inclusive design that would set new standards for universal accessibility. I doubt this bold commitment would have been realized if it weren't for the extensive and ongoing involvement of the Council of Canadians With Disabilities (CCD), and other disability experts.

Teleconference discussion on March 4th: The future of library services in Canada

On Tuesday, March 4th at 8pm Eastern, Sharlyn Ayotte will be hosting a teleconference discussion to explore the future of library services in Canada. This session is intended to tell you a little of what we know so far, and to gather your viewpoints and feedback to inform AEBC's next steps.

Background information: As many of you know, the topic of so-called 'accessible library service' has been front and center over the past couple of years. AEBC has been advancing the notion that accessible, alternative-format library services should be provided by government just as public library services currently are.

Book Club

Today was book club. This book club has shared favourte stories, favourte authors, favourite genres for ten years. Today was a new experience. My neighbour, the mother of one of my son’s very good friends who was a constant companion at my dinner table when the children were at home, an English teacher at my children’s high school has penned a historical fiction loosely based on her father’s immigration to Southwestern Ontario from Holland. Her book was our February 2014 choice and the author attended our meeting.

I thoroughly enjoy book club.

Lambert's Groceteria

Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued - Socrates

I came across this quote a few years ago. I was taking a course at Western University - An Introduction to Ancient Greece and Rome. We took a cursory look at Socrates as a philosopher and one of the founders of Western philosophy.

Wisdom begins in wonder. - Socrates

Some of Socrates’ quotes resonated with me, especially those about a quest for knowledge. 


The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing. - Socrates

I grew up on a farm, in a small, tight knit rural community. I enjoyed the feeling of belonging to a community, but even as a little girl I knew there was something missing. I just didn’t know what it was.

We had the old crank telephone system.

A Community Venue Creates a Hands on Experience for Persons who are Blind and Partially Sighted

The Kelowna Art Gallery has been very proactive to make their art displays accessible to blind and partially sighted individuals. At least three times a year, Rene, Program Director for the gallery, organizes customized tours for us. On November 9, 2013, several members of our Kelowna AEBC Chapter attended the current display.

Photo

Rene, started out by giving us background information on the artist and his works then we moved to the gallery and watched short films.

Solo-DX: Audio description for TV and theatre via your smartphone

The following message was forwarded to me, announcing the release of a new app (currently available on the Apple platform and soon to be available on Android) that is intended to make audio description available in movie theatres that are not directly equipped to provide description. In effect, it is an app that will "listen" to the movie soundtrack and synchronize its own descriptive track for the listener.

It appears that only one upcoming movie is currently supported by this app, but perhaps more will be forthcoming. This seems like it is intended to work not only in theatres but also for regular TV shows. The actual descriptive tracks appear to be produced independently from the movies themselves, though.

Your mileage may vary.

A lovely second date

November 9th turned out to be a lovely Saturday. A gentleman I have already met asked to take me on a unique art tour. He told me it was not the typical art tour, it was a tactile art tour. London has 50+ chainsaw sculptures scattered throughout the city. Many are in front of businesses, libraries, schools or parks and are completely accessible. This gentleman researched all the sculptures and selected the top 10 according to ease of me reaching them, accessibility and variety. He described each of the ten and placed my hands on each and showed me all the intricacies of the carvings. It was absolutely amazing, and very thoughtful of him to organize a tour that I could thoroughly enjoy and experience.

This was a “second date”. Our first date was lunch at my local pub.

Collaborating Through Art

The paintings now showing at the Bean Scene Downtown Kelowna (274 Bernard Ave, Kelowna) are to a large extent collaborative works completed by me and another artist. Pay close attention to the names of the artists on each label. Many of the paintings are my own creation, but at some point in the process it is quite likely I had a sighted person take a look and give me feedback, which I may or may not have incorporated. Beyond this, there are four other artists, who have literally shared the painting experience with me. I have learned a lot about collaboration through this painting experiment. There are as many interpretations about the nature of collaboration, as there are artists!

Why Do We Read & Write Blog Posts?

People write blogs as a way to express themselves and their knowledge or expertise. People read blogs as a source of information or because they find the writer interesting.

Blogs are extremely useful, both to the writer and the reader. The writer may have a lot of knowledge to share, and the reader may want an informal way to learn about a topic. Some people use blogs to find other people with similar problems, issues or situations

Blogging is an excellent way to keep your writing skills sharp.  It’s also a great way to interact with people by posting on forums, discussion lists, networks & other larger social media sites, such as twitter & facebook, to educate, advocate & learn.

It’s a great way to find out new and informative information

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