Over the past twenty years Picasso PRO has developed training and collaborative creation models in the realm of disability/Deaf and integrative performance and media arts. Part legacy project and part toolkit, the Hub offers an accessible, online gateway for artists and arts administrators looking to engage in Deaf, disability-driven and inclusive art practices.
“We believe the Hub will help preserve Canadian disability arts history, which is vital to helping the Deaf and disability arts communities retain ownership of their own voices. It will also enable other practitioners to build on our experience,” says Picasso PRO’s Artistic Principal Rose Jacobson.
As a toolkit, the Hub will serve both as an online centre for disability and integrative arts, and as a model for online accessibility within the arts. It features selections of archival video, audio, writings, and photos of Picasso PRO’s body of work. With few exceptions, archival footage of such work has not previously been publicly available in Canada; particularly in an online, accessible format.
The Picasso PRO Hub also hosts a Resource Centre, featuring research documents and handbooks created by Picasso PRO and their collaborators, a new arts blog called the Soapbox, enabling dialogue among artists working in the realm of disability/Deaf and integrated arts, and the Featured Artists space, which will share the work of six artists annually.
Equally important, the site has been conceived and built accessibly in coding, language and design to accommodate a diversity of users and screen reading software. Notable accessibility features include WAI-ARIA roles, HTML 5 semantic structured content, video toggle options between open captions and audio description with open captions, high colour contrasts, and descriptive alt text.
The Picasso PRO Hub was built under the leadership of Rose Jacobson, with project management by Generator's Michael Wheeler and Camila Diaz-Varela, development and design by Simon W. Bloom and Sarah Hunter, plus a committed team of access, artistic and post-production personnel.