You Don't Need Eyes to See, You Need Vision: Performative Pedagogy, Technology and Teaching Art to Students with Vision Impairment

Lee Campbell


This paper links experiential learning and Performance Art with public pedagogy on sight/visual negation and contributes to knowledge by drawing together performance as pedagogy to demonstrate how teaching styles can accommodate those with vision impairment and adapt (performance) art to make it more accessible. In so doing it seeks to develop inclusion for students with a vision impairment. Intermeshing practice, teaching and research around issues of access, participation and education, it builds upon previous work exploring teaching strategies for the visually impaired within contemporary art practice (Axel and Levent, 2003; Hayhoe, 2008; Allan, 2014) and shares useful adaptations to help make learning about art more accessible for students with vision impairment. It also sheds light upon aspects of the question, ‘What are the basics that an educator needs to know when designing art programs for persons with visual impairment?’ (Axel and Levent, 2003: 51). This paper can be read as a benchmark for critical engagement in its attempt to combine performative pedagogy with an emphasis on technological means, access  and visual impairment. While  vision  is  favoured over  other senses (Jonas, 1954) and with the increasing importance of digital and virtual realities as a major component of students’ lives, never has there been a time in which the meanings of access are so broadened via technological mediation—that draw on all senses—to which artworks, as suggested, respond. Relying on all senses becomes an aspect of public pedagogy that is more inclusive.


access; experiential learning; haptic, inclusion; occularcentritcity; participation; performance art; technology

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