[NOBE-L] Cross-posted: Graduate student requesting assistance indetermining accessible assignments for creative arts in social work course

Heather Field missheather at comcast.net
Sun Oct 4 23:32:21 UTC 2020

Hello Miranda,

I am assuming, because you are requesting input from folks on blindness lists, that you cannot draw well enough to express your feelings, emotions etc. At the level required by this course.
Based on this assumption, I suggest that you offer the course creators some alternatives for the drawing assignments.
Personally speaking, This doesn’t seem like just a blindness issue since, the course is heavily weighted against anyone who cannot draw well. I know many sighted people who would consider themselves very bad at drawing, and they wouldn’t feel confident trying to make drawings that expressed their states of mind, emotions or feelings.

Nevertheless, The fact is that you cannot see well enough to use drawings as a form of personal expression, and they are discriminating against you if they refuse to take this into account. Alternative arrangements need to be made so that you can participate in the course.

Numerous creative arts options, that don’t rely on vision, are available as substitutes for drawings. Obviously, it depends on your personal skills, but I believe it is very important to challenge the course creators on their limiting creative input to drawing and literature. Even their supposed “movement, music and dance” activity still relies on visual skills, not involving movement, music or dance. Rather, it requires students to do a tracing and colouring-in activity. The size of the created art piece isn’t the point.

If you decide to contact the course creators with your concerns, I would suggest first emailing them. Include a list of various options, to show them the huge number of expressions of creative art, that don’t involve drawing, available to you as a blind course participant.
I have included a list of some ideas below as brainstorming suggestions.

I would then try speaking with them to see what they’re willing to work out. If you don’t draw, then I certainly wouldn’t settle for trying to produce tactile drawings, with colours that you can’t see, as a representation of your ability to express yourself artistically. I also wouldn’t let them tell you that they will only require your written portion of the course and grade you on that alone. That would be a different exercise entirely. If you wanted to do a course in creative writing, you would be choosing a different course. You are wanting the creative art experience and they should work with you to provide it. 

Some examples of artistic expression include:
composing musical tone poems, instrumental pieces, songs, soundscapes, monologues, documentaries and self-voiced audio dramas.
You could request permission to use an audio engineer, since that wouldn’t, technically, be part of your creative process.

Modelling using coloured modelling clays, sculpture, patchwork sewing, weaving, origami, papier-mache, string-art, collage, engraving and etching.

Expressive modern dance, gymnastic routines. 
You could have someone video the movement activities, 

I hope this is helpful.
Please let us know how you get on.
Heather Field

From: Miranda B. via NOBE-L
Sent: Sunday, 4 October 2020 10:30 AM
To: nobe-l at nfbnet.org
Cc: Miranda B.
Subject: [NOBE-L] Cross-posted: Graduate student requesting assistance indetermining accessible assignments for creative arts in social work course

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