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Disability and the arts

One handed woodwind musicians

by Megumi Kajigaya

The personal stories of a music therapy student and her mentor David Nabb, a one-handed sax player who runs a program to make adapted woodwind instruments and teach musicians with disability how to play them. Published: May 2009

Don't Forget Who's Taking You Home

by Anthony Tusler

A collection of disability songs, singers and songwriters, including a compilation of popular disability dance songs and others for listening. The author's criteria is simple - the singer or songwriter has a disability or the song is about disability. Published: November 2005

Emanuel Leplin, symphony composer and mouth painter

by Rocky Leplin

Emanuel was an award-winning 20th century symphonic composer and artist, who contracted polio during the 1954 epidemic in San Francisco. He continued to write great music and taught himself to paint again, using his mouth to control the paint brush. This article is a tribute by his son Rocky. Published: September 2005

Planning for Christmas

by Lisa Sampson

Lisa Sampson, a playwright and performer, suggests some fun ways to make the Christmas holiday season memorable and enjoyable for people with intellectual disabilities. Published: August 2005

Nothing about us without us

by Gareth Wreford

Gareth Wreford, Executive Director of Arts Access Australia advocates participation in the arts for people with disabilities is an important part of broader inclusion strategies that develop employment skills and social networks. He fears that the right of the one in five Australians with a disability to participate in the nation's cultural life may be overlooked. Published: May 2005

Stone sculpting

by Garry Curry

Garry Curry and Alistair Green are quadriplegic stone sculptors. The two have won awards for their work and have a dream to establish an arts centre for people with disabilities. They have set up the Society of Disabled Artists (SODA) and together have designed many different types of tools to allow people with disabilities to created more complex sculptures. Published: June 2004

No Limits!

by Peter Anderson

No-Limits is an award winning Australian television show presented by people with disabilities for people with disabilities. It could be considered somewhat irreverant at times, by some. However, the regular and guest panelists have a lot of fun and it is a very informative show that raises awareness about disability issues and rights. Published: June 2004

Place of disability in arts, health and wellbeing

by Gareth Wreford

Developing an advocacy strategy - Gareth Wreford, Director of DADAA National Network looks at some key issues and discussions around arts, disability and health. Published: March 2004

A literary journey - Autism NetVerse

by Dorothy Lewis-Heselwood

Each year Austism Arts celebrates the literary and artistic skills of people with autism and helps raise community awareness about autism. Dorothy Lewis-Heselwood's essay about how conferences can create opportunities was awarded 4th place in the Austism NetVerse competition. Published: December 2003

I am abled

by Mary Kellis

Mary Kellis wrote this poem as a way of expressing her feelings about how others perceive her, now she uses a wheelchair Published: September 2003

Me, my guitar and disability art

by Robin Surgeoner

Robin Surgeoner (aka Angryfish) explains what he means and how he expresses himself through his poetry and songwriting. The most profound emotion he experienced in performing his first 'Disability Arts' gig was the 'unadulterated feeling that (he) was engaging in debate with an audience of disabled people'. His motto is: Always listen loud and enjoy! Published: August 2003

Living with Spina Bifida - A poet's story

by Robert Hensel

Born in Spain and currently living in New York, Robert is an international poet-writer and advocate for the rights of people with disabilities. He was recently honored when the mayor of his home town declared a week for the disabled, "Beyond Limitations Week", in his name. Here is his story about living with Spina Bifida. Published: March 2002

Fill in the gaps

by Lisa Gibson

The Royal Blind Society recently launched a new initiative, live audio description, to "fill in the gaps" for arts lovers who are blind and vision impaired. The first audio-described-plays were performed as part of the Sydney 2000 Olympic and Paralympic Arts Festivals. Claire attended the performance and met the cast. This is her story. Published: December 2000

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