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Deaf and Disability Arts Practices in Canada

September 01, 2018

In May 2018, The Research, Evaluation and Performance Measurement Section of the Canada Council for the Arts began working with the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and a team of university researchers in order to carry out a study which aims to document the Deaf and disability arts practices in Canada.

Research goal

Led by a team composed of Deaf, disabled, and allied researchers and artists from various universities, this research will contribute to a better understanding of:

  • issues surrounding Deaf and disability arts;1
  • collaborations between Deaf and disability arts sectors and art sectors more broadly and;
  • practices which allow for the recognition, support, and promotion of the practices of Deaf and disability artists.

The study will allow for an update to, and elaboration on, the research conducted in 2010 by Rose Jacobson and Geoff McMurchy (Focus on Disability and Deaf Arts in Canada).

Research Philosophy

This project is based on the following collaborative approach:

  1. participative and inclusive data collection methods, and;
  2. consideration of the power dynamics between researchers, practitioners, and members of marginalized communities.

The study includes a literature review, a statistical analysis, and a content analysis of interviews and focus groups. This research project has received ethics approval from the Institutional Ethics Committee on Research with Human Participants (CIEREH) of UQAM.


85 participants in 8 different cities across 5 provinces took part in interviews and focus groups during the summer of 2018. The Canada Council for the Arts and the project research team would like to thank them for their participation and point of view which are vital to the project’s success.


A summary of the project and its findings will be made available on the Canada Council for Arts website in fall 2020. Please stay tuned.


Please contact the research team at: deaf.disabled.art.sourd.handicap@gmail.com.

Research team

Véro Leduc, Lead researcher
Department of Social and Public Communications
Université du Québec à Montréal

Mouloud Boukala, Co-researcher
Media School
Université du Québec à Montréal

Joëlle Rouleau, Co-researcher
Department of Art History and Film Studies
Université de Montréal

In collaboration with: Olivier Angrignon-Girouard, Cynthia Benoit, Shandi Bouscatier, Noah Eidelman, Line Grenier, Carolyne Grimard, Aimée Louw, Élodie Marcelli, Ashley McAskill, Laurence Parent, Inori Roy, Darren Saunders, Tamar Tembeck, and Catherine Théroux.


1 Deaf and disability arts include, but is not limited to, Deaf arts, disability arts, mad arts, integrated/mixed ability arts and practices involving artists with cognitive disabilities.