Founded in 2015, Performance without Barriers is a research partnership between Queen’s University Belfast’s School of Arts, English and Languages – specifically the Sonic Arts Research Centre and the Drake Music Project Northern Ireland. Together we explore the role of technology in removing the access barriers encountered by some disabled musicians in creative pursuits.
Our work is rooted in the social model of disability, seeing disability as arising from attitudes in society and the design of our environment. Through participatory design practices, all of our work is led by the insights of the disabled community.
We view music as an important and powerful medium for personal expression, with the potential to amplify the voices of those marginalized in society. We therefore focus our efforts on building sustainable environments for inclusive music-making that live beyond our research projects.
Performance without Barriers is the proud recipient of the 2020 Vice Chancellors Prize for Research Innovation.