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Blind Futures: Accessibility Ain't Hard -- Lunch and Talk with Disability Activist Andy Slater

Please join us for lunch at 12:30, with talk to follow at 1:30Register (at this link) to save your spot!

This event is sponsored by the UVA Department of Music’s Technosonics Festival 2023 in conjunction with the Scholars’ Lab and the Digital Humanities Certificate Program.

In this casual discussion Andy will present some of his work and reveal how accessibility is a key part of  his artistic practice. “The majority of my art includes accessibility as either a creative source, an accommodation, or tool of disruption.” Andy will address how access to image, sound, and technology is a. universal concept and not just a weird thing disabled people need to keep up. He will also go on and on about how important it is that new tech and media allow access to progress parallel to  “the next big metaverse  thing.”

Topics: XR/Metaverse Access, describing sound/extended captions, Alt Text as Poetry, and the phonology of the blind body and the battle against staring 

Andy Slater is a blind  Chicago-based media artist, writer, performer, and Disability advocate/loudmouth. Andy holds a Masters in Sound Arts and Industries from Northwestern University and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is a 2022 United States Artists fellow, 2022-2023 Leonardo Crip Tech Incubator fellow and  a 2018 3Arts/Bodies of Work fellow at the University of Illinois Chicago. He is a member of the Society of Visually Impaired Sound Artists and a teaching artist with the Atlantic Center for the Arts’ Young SoundSeekers program, Midwest Society For Acoustic Ecology, and 3Arts Disability Culture Leadership Initiative.

Andy’s current work focuses on advocacy  for accessible art and technology, Alt-Text for sound and image, the phonology of the blind body, spatial audio for extended reality, and sound design for film, dance, and digital scent design. In 2020 Andy was acknowledged for his art  by the New York Times in their article, “28 Ways To Learn About Disability Culture.” His research on Crypto Acoustic Auditory Non-Hallucination was published  in McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern volume 61. Andy’s audio description production for Alison O’Daniel’s  film, The Tuba Thieves, was featured at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. Andy has been published in Array: The International Computer Music Journal (2021), Curating Access:Disability Art Activism AndCreative Accommodation (Cachia 2023), the Chicago Reader, There Plant Eyes (Godin 2021), and Roctober magazine.

He has exhibited and performed at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Contemporary Jewish Museum SF, American Writers and Publishers conference, Transmediale Festival Berlin,  Chicago Inclusive Dance Festival, Ian Potter Museum of Art Melbourne, Critical Distance Toronto, College Art Association,   Gallery 400  Chicago, Experimental Sound Studios Chicago, the Art Institute of Chicago, Flux Factory New York, and Momenta Dance Company Chicago. 

His website is

Sponsoring Organization(s):

February 2, 2023 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm

English Department Faculty Lounge, 229A Bryan Hall

Event type: Lecture


Event type: Mixer