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Focus on Disability and Deaf Arts in Canada

September 1, 2011

In August 2008, Rose Jacobson and Geoff McMurchy were engaged by the Canada Council for the Arts to undertake a research project on disability arts. This work was deemed to be important for the Council given the growing interest in this area revealed through its 2008-11 strategic plan consultations.

This report identifies, assesses and defines elements of key existing trends in Deaf and disability arts and discusses current challenges and opportunities. The report introduces readers to the basic language used in current discourse around Deaf and disability arts. It also provides examples of culturally specific and integrated projects and organizations that constitute the sector, and some of the art forms which require resources, technologies and capacity building in order to flourish.

Focus on Disability and Deaf Arts in Canada was completed by the authors in January 2009. Readers should note that the report was then further updated by the authors with new information and developments covering the period January 2009 to September 2011. This is a first research report on this topic for the Canada Council for the Arts. As Deaf and disability arts is evolving, the Council plans to make available new and updated information from time to time as part of its ongoing research work.

Research and Evaluation Section, Canada Council for the Arts, September 2011