January 27, 2021

Feb. 11 Event to Reimagine Access: Inclusive Technology for Archives and Special Collections Now Open for Registration

Archivists and Designers with Disabilities Confirmed as Panelists

Hosted by ArtCenter College of Design with the Support of an Institute of Museum and Library Services Grant

Educators, access-centered designers, technologists, students and the disability community are invited to "Reimagining Access: Inclusive Technology for Archives & Special Collections," an online symposium set for Thursday, February 11, 2021 from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. (Pacific Time) hosted by ArtCenter College of Design. Registration for the event is free and open to the public at this link; http://www.artcenter.edu/connect/events/reimagining-access-inclusive-technology-for-archives-special-collections.html

The symposium is a kick-off to an IMLS grant project exploring how to make digital archives more accessible. Results from the symposium will be used to help direct the project and the class which is being held in conjunction with the event.

Featuring archivists and designers with disabilities, and scholars there will be sessions on the current challenges of access to archives, industry design practices and initiatives, and emerging directions. Speakers include Jasmine Clark, digital scholarship librarian, Temple University; Michelle Ganz, archivist at History Factory; Elizabeth Guffey, professor of Art and Design History and head of the MA Program in Art History at the State University of New York, Purchase College; Josh Halstead, assistant professor, ArtCenter College of Design; Sara Hendren, artist, design researcher, writer and professor at Olin College of Engineering; Crystal Lee, PhD candidate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Dr. Jeffrey Swada, director of the Undergraduate Food Science Program and the liaison to the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities within the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at Michigan State University; Dr. Lydia Tang, archivist of the Stephen O. Murray and Keelung Hong Special Collections at Michigan State University; and Sara White, disability rights activist and archivist.

The event is made possible by a National Leadership Grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) awarded to ArtCenter College of Design in 2020. ArtCenter’s winning project, Reimagining Access: Inclusive Technology Design for Archives and Special Collections , is a joint undertaking between the ArtCenter Library and the Interaction Design Department. Robert Dirig, director, Archives and Special Collections, is the project director, and Maggie Hendrie, chair of ArtCenter’s Interaction Design and Graduate Media Design Practices programs, is the co-principal investigator. The program has been developed in collaboration with Jennifer May, executive director of ArtCenter’s Designmatters, and the connected ArtCenter studio class taught by Associate Professors Elise Co and Todd Masilko with Assistant Professor Josh Halstead.

For more information on ArtCenter’s Reimagining Access project addressing the technology needs of persons with disabilities, visit this page in the College’s newsroom.

Following the February 11 symposium, the grant team will enter a core development phase to identify and develop emerging best practices. Utilizing studio-based working groups of technology design faculty and students collaborating with archival professionals and disability experts, the team will develop technology prototypes that address access challenges. Results will include an expanded set of the Society of American Archivists’ Guidelines for Accessible Archives for People with Disabilities, and additional documentation, such as a website.

For more information about the symposium, please contact IMLSsymposium@artcenter.edu 

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About ArtCenter Library: The Library actively supports the teaching and research mission of ArtCenter College of Design. It serves as the College’s main collaborative learning environment, where students and faculty from various departments gather to explore, discover and create. It is also open to alumni and external researchers. The Library is a specialized visual arts library designed for aspiring artists and designers. It includes more than 93,000 books; 420 periodical subscriptions; 11,000 feature films, documentaries, and animation clips; a growing zine collection; and numerous online research databases. In addition, the Library works with faculty members to acquire resources to enhance their teaching. Outside the classroom and studio, the Library is pivotal in providing students with informal learning spaces. Students have access to their Liaison Librarians who provide research assistance on a walk-in basis and by appointment. In addition, Liaison Librarians support faculty by providing library instruction and workshops to help students develop research and information literacy skills. The Library also includes the ArtCenter Archives , a repository for official and unofficial records that document ArtCenter’s history. The Archives contain historical images and material of enduring value generated by faculty, academic departments, administrative offices, students and campus organizations.

About ArtCenter College of Design: Founded in 1930 and located in Pasadena, California, ArtCenter College of Design is a global leader in art and design education. ArtCenter offers 11 undergraduate and seven graduate degrees in a wide variety of industrial design disciplines as well as visual and applied arts. In addition to its top-ranked academic programs, the College also serves members of the Greater Los Angeles region through a highly regarded series of year-round educational programs for all ages and levels of experience. Renowned for both its ties to industry and its social impact initiatives, ArtCenter is the first design school to receive the United Nations’ Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status. Throughout the College’s long and storied history, ArtCenter alumni have had a profound impact on popular culture, the way we live and important issues in our society.

About the IMLS: The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation's libraries and museums. The IMLS advances, supports and empowers America’s museums, libraries and related organizations through grantmaking, research and policy development. The IMLS vision is a nation where museums and libraries work together to transform the lives of individuals and communities. To learn more, visit www.imls.gov and follow on Facebook and Twitter.

Teri Bond
Media Relations Director
626 396-2385

ArtCenter students flesh out concepts during a recent accessibility design workshop with members of the Google design team.
ArtCenter students flesh out concepts during a recent accessibility design workshop led by Assistant Professor Josh Halstead, a disability advocate who will participate in the Reimagining Access symposium on February 11. Photo by Steven Butler.