Rationale Method - Development of a tactile soundpad for visually impaired dancers

Project: UK charity

Project Details

Description

The project will create a prototype of a tactile accessible soundpad that allows people with visual impairment to choregraph through sound effects. The Soundpad will be programmed with Rationale Method’s Audio Language that was created to enhance accessibility of dance movement by providing sound effects that most accurately help people with visual impairment to visualise a variety of dance movements. The Soundpad will have tactile buttons allowing people with visual impairment to easily differentiate between buttons that correspond to specific sound effects. The Soundpad aims to bridge the gap between sighted and visually impaired artists and audiences in the following ways:

- It will allow people with visual impairment to communicate their choreographic ideas and movements through sound effects through giving them the opportunity to explore a choreographic methodology that has designed to be accessible from its inception.

- It will allow dancers with visual impairment to be choreographed on much more efficiently and will make ensemble choreography for visually impaired dancers much easier to understand.

- People with visual impairment who have no experience with choreography will be able to become choreographers through the use of this sound pad.

- People with visual impairment can choreograph remotely from their home and send the sound file to the dance studio for the dancers to interpret. This will make dance choreography more accessible to people with visual impairment to struggle to with travelling to new places.

- Both sighted and people with visual impairment can use this soundpad to either choreograph or to be choreographed on which in turn will promote the integration of sighted and visually impaired dancers.

THE PROCESS

The project will consist of the following phases and stages:

Phase 1 – Development and recruitment

Stages

1. Developing the sound pad prototype – a sound pad will be purchased and modified so it becomes tactile to help people with visual impairment differentiate between buttons that correspond to certain sound effects.

2. Recruiting visually impaired participants – contact the RNIB, Sheffield Royal Society for the Blind and Doncaster Partially sighted society.

Phase 2 – Familiarisation and testing usability

Stages

1. Familiarising visually impaired and sighted participants with accessible sound language (20 participants)

2. Teaching visually impaired participants how to use the sound pad (20 participants)

3. Getting their feedback on usability of the sound pad. Due to the participants being visually impaired it is better for the feedback to take the form of recorded interviews so they are not required to write anything down.

4. Making modifications to improve the usability of sound pad if necessary

Phase 3 – Choreographic exploration

Session 1 - Stages

1. 4 Visually impaired participants in each city from the previous phase who express an interest in choreography will be selected to start to choreograph movement sequences using the sound-pad

2. We evaluate and observe the process to see if movement is effectively communicated to dancers or if confusion in communicating choreography arises. We then refine the communication process to ensure movement instructions are clearly understood.

3. Sighted choreographer choreographs movement for visually impaired dancers.

4. Again, we evaluate and observe the process to see if movement is effectively communicated to dancers or if confusion in communicating choreography arises. We then refine the communication process to ensure movement instructions are clearly understood.

5. Once clear communication processes have been confirmed we begin to choreograph the performance piece.

Session 2 and 3

1. The structure for this will be each person with visual impairment will have a set amount of time to choreograph a section of movement during each half day session (4 sessions in total). At the end of each session we will evaluate what worked well and what could be improved and implement suggested changes during the following session.

Session 4

2. On the final session all of the sections will be combined to create a performance piece that flows and will be performed the week after.

Throughout the 4 week period

To give those who struggle to leave their home or to make it to the dance sessions the opportunity to take part, we will be giving those people with visual impairment the opportunity to use the sound pad and have their audio sequences recorded from their home so it can be incorporated into the final performance piece.

Phase 4 = Performances

Layman's description

The project will create a prototype of a tactile accessible soundpad that allows people with visual impairment to choregraph through sound effects. The Soundpad will be programmed with Rationale Method’s Audio Language that was created to enhance accessibility of dance movement by providing sound effects that most accurately help people with visual impairment to visualise a variety of dance movements. The Soundpad will have tactile buttons allowing people with visual impairment to easily differentiate between buttons that correspond to specific sound effects. The Soundpad aims to bridge the gap between sighted and visually impaired artists and audiences.
Short title0
AcronymTacSoundPad
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date1/11/1917/02/20

Keywords

  • break dance
  • touch
  • dance
  • visual impairment
  • blind