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Gallery focuses on disability programs

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Over one million people in Australia have a physical, emotional, intellectual or sensory disability with many having a life-long enjoyment of the arts.
Edmund Capon, Director, Art Gallery of New South Wales

Graeme Innes, AM, Disability Discrimination Commissioner at the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, today launched a new three-year partnership between the Art Gallery of New South Wales and national law firm Clayton Utz for a series of access programs specifically for people with disabilities.

This partnership will allow people with disabilities to enjoy cultural experiences at the Gallery specifically through ‘touch’ and ‘sensory’ tours. In addition there will be a volunteering program where Clayton Utz staff support the Gallery in art-making workshops.

Graeme Innes said, “Art is as relevant to people with disabilities as to other members of the community. These facilities will certainly enhance the experience.”

The Gallery will offer several access programs, including the Da Vinci Program, providing special art-making workshops for intellectually disabled and intellectually gifted children, Touch tours for visitors who are blind or partially sighted and Auslan-interpreted events for visitors who are deaf. The Gallery can now commit to delivering these programs for the next three years.

The Gallery's Art After Hours program every Wednesday evening will now feature a regular program of Auslan-interpreted celebrity talks and guided tours. In addition the Sunday Gallery Kids program will include Auslan interpreters for the family programs.

To support the touch tours, the Gallery is developing a sensory trolley which will include tactile materials and props that complement tours of the Gallery. A sensory visit to On the Wallaby Track by Fredderick McCubbin will include the chance to smell eucalyptus leaves, swing a billy can and feel samples of the fabrics worn by the early settlers in this iconic painting. The touch tour program will include a component of audio description, to be used in conjunction with existing tours and to complement selected temporary exhibitions. These tours can also include art-making workshops to expand the experience of enjoying art.

Access Partner

Clayton Utz

For further information please contact:
Susanne Briggs

Art Gallery of New South Wales
(02) 9225 1791 or 0412 268 320