The Quest to Being Recognized as a Valued Person: First-person Account of Ecological Approach to Inaccessibility of Arts and Cultural Activities (On Demand: Recorded)
Main Topic: Flourishing, Well-being, and Social-Emotional Learning
Session Type: Paper
Arts and cultural activities enable body-mind rejuvenation, representation and appreciation of our surroundings. The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) Article 9 clearly asserts the significance of ensuring accessibility, and the Article 30 recognizes the right of people with disability to participate in arts and cultural activities on equal basis with others. However, fundamental choices and opportunities for people with disability in arts and cultural activities are still seriously denied under the ableist culture. At the most basic level, “accessibility” plays a significant role in determining whether people with disability can literally “join” the arts and cultural activities. Going to concerts is a common example of participation in arts and cultural activities. As a wheelchair user with congenital muscular dystrophy and an enthusiastic concert-goer, I observe that the access to concerts has been greatly improved throughout the years, but the user experiences are often stigmatizing which reflect ableism. This presentation serves two purposes. First, it aims to share my first-hand experiences of negotiating with the inaccessibility of concerts as a kind of self-empowerment and awareness-raising. It would unravel the ableist nature of inaccessibility across different stages of concert arrangement, e.g., overall service culture, scope of target audience, promotional materials, ticketing, seating options, venue accessibility, symbols and terminology, and attitudinal responses of the personnel. Second, it would discuss the stigmatization and detrimental impact on wellbeing of inaccessibility of concerts on different stakeholders, such as patrons with disability, the companions, concert staff, and bystanders. Ecological framework would be adopted to systematize and synthesize these real-life experiences which would cut across various ecological levels such as the individual, interpersonal, organizational, intergroup, and societal levels. Although the present first-person account would focus on pop music concerts as an illustrative example, the user experience and rationale could be reasonably extended to other arts and cultural activities such as theater performances and museum exhibitions to inform future research and practices. Recommendations of inclusive practices that could enhance accessibility of arts and cultural activities will be discussed.
At the end of this session, participants will:
- Learn about first-hand experiences of a wheelchair user in Hong Kong in negotiating with inaccessibility of concerts.
- Be more aware of the plausible stigmatization through the inaccessibility of concert management.
- Gain ideas of inclusive practices of arts and cultural activities.
Keywords: people with disability, accessibility, ableism, human rights, ecological model, Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities CRPD
View the Session: https://community.pacrim.coe.hawaii.edu/groups/4189398/feed
Dr. Gloria Yuet Kwan MaThe University of Hong Kong - Postdoctoral Fellow
The University of Hong Kong
Gloria Yuet-kwan Ma is a postdoctoral fellow at the Faculty of Education, The University of Hong Kong. She received her PhD from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Her research areas focus on ecological approach to addressing ableism and promoting environmental accessibility as well as the perceptions of the International Symbol of Accessibility. She co-founded the Wheel Power Charity Limited in 2014 to promote social inclusion through experiential programs and disability advocacy. She is a power wheelchair user living with congenital muscular dystrophy.