Music Software Accessibility Symposium

A female music producer wearing headphones, working on a Logic project.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash  

This one-day free hybrid (online and in person) symposium brings together people interested in understanding and improving blind and visually impaired (VIB) access to music technology.

We invite VIB musicians, sound engineers, live performers, bedroom producers, software developers, product owners and anyone interested in music technology and accessibility to participate in this event.

A limited number of free tickets are available via Eventbrite.

Time and Location

IKLECTIK, London, on November 17th 2022, between 10 am and 8 pm GMT.

Programme

9:45 am – Tea and Coffee.

10:15 am – Welcome Address.

10:30 am –  Bridging the Gap.

Alex Lucas, Jacob Harrison and James Cunningham will provide an overview of the Bridging the Gap Research Project. Based on interviews with twenty VIB sound and music creatives, they will share their insights into digital audio workstation (DAW) accessibility.

11:00 am – Keynote Presentation: Scott Chesworth.

Scott is a prominent figure in the Reaper Access online community. In this presentation, Scott will describe his work in improving the accessibility of Reaper through the development of the Osara extension.

12:00 pm – Lunch.

Join us for a free light lunch of sandwiches, brownies and refreshments!

12:30 pm – Supporting VIB Creativity.

Peter Bosher and Jay Pocknell provide an overview of Sound without Sight, a fantastic new initiative aiming to support VIB creatives working with sound and music.

Alex Rees will discuss the excellent work of UCAN Productions in Wales, supporting young VIB in accessing performance and the creative arts. 

1:30 pm –   Bridging the Gap Podcast Panel Discussion.

Over five episodes, the Bridging the Gap Podcast features conversations with several VIB sound and music creatives on topics related to DAW accessibility.  Guests from the podcast speak with James Cunningham, sharing their perspectives in this live panel discussion.

2:30 pm – Accessible DAW Demonstrations. (In Person Only)

Jason Dasent, Andre Loius, Scott Chesworth and Bryan Matthews are VIB sound creatives, well-versed in their DAW of choice. They will demonstrate accessible workflows in Pro Tools, Logic, Reaper and GarageBand for iOS.  Andre will also demonstrate Native Instruments Komplete Kontrol with Native Access.

3:30 pm – Design Workshop. (In Person Only)

In this relaxed, guided workshop, we will use physical materials to build low-fidelity prototypes of possible new (or old) technologies that may improve VIB DAW access.

4:30 pm – Keynote Presentation: Chi Kim.

In this keynote Chi will talk about the motivation behind Flo Tools as well as provide background of the development process. He will also highlight the Assistive Music Technology Lab at Berklee College of Music, which allows visually impaired students to thrive at Berklee, and share how the lab contributes to the broader accessible music technology field. Lastly, he’ll share his thoughts on future directions for accessible music technology and how the industry could do better to meet the needs of visually impaired musicians.

5:30 pm – Music Technology Industry Panel Discussion.

Hear of the latest developments in music technology accessibility during this panel discussion with music technology product industry representatives. 

6:30 pm – Pizza and Live Music.

Join us for free pizza and refreshments. A bar will be serving alcohol. The day closes with a live music performance and open mic/open cable stage.

Project Overview

The Bridging the Gap, AHRC funded, research partnership is a collaboration between The Sonic Arts Research Centre at Queen’s University Belfast, The Centre for Digital Music at Queen Mary University London and Creative United. Together their goal is to support a growing understanding within academia and the music industry of the strategies used by visually impaired and blind (VIB) creatives to access music production software.