Blog Article

Creating Accessible Media and ASL Vlogs

As a part of our Elective Studies series for artists, Illinois Humanities seeks to increase capacity for Chicago artists and arts organizers to create accessible media about art for Deaf and hard of hearing audiences.

Renowned artist and educator Christine Sun Kim and Director of Access and Community Programs for the Whitney Museum of American Art Danielle Linzer visited Illinois Humanities in the fall of 2016 to demonstrate their method of creating accessible media for Deaf audiences.  Kim and Linzer have worked for years to fine-tune The Vlog Project, an initiative by The Whitney Museum of American Art to provide information and inclusive access to culture through short digital films exploring contemporary art in American Sign Language. The series aims primarily to increase opportunities for audiences who are deaf and hard of hearing to learn about twentieth and twenty-first century art, and also enables educators to participate in the discussion surrounding the expansion of ASL’s vocabulary of contemporary art terms.

We worked closely with Kim and Linzer to produce two vlogs in the style of the project (one at the Museum of Contemporary Art and one at the Garfield Park Conservatory, featuring Luftwerk).  Under their guidance, we assembled a stellar local team consisting of experts both Deaf (museum educators Jennifer Hart and Matt Dans, as well as director/editor Adrean Mangiardi) and hearing (videographer David Thomas, interpreter Amy Kisner, and other interpretive media apprentices).  We hope that these videos can serve as a model for other institutions to create original interpretive content that meets the learning needs of multiple audiences and engages people with disabilities in a collaborative creative process, highlighting the unique perspectives they bring to the cultural field.

If you would like to receive the Resource Sheet we have compiled as a result of this project, including contact information for the Illinois team described above, please email