Access Granted
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Access Granted

Alternative education, anyone? This Thursday is the opening of the ROM’s latest exhibit, Out From Under: Disability, History, and Things to Remember. A joint project with Ryerson University’s School of Disability Studies, the thirteen-panel installation tracks the hidden history of disability in Canada.
Each panel is given a one-word title, and a corresponding object that acknowledges the past contributions of Canadians with disabilities. Dressing contains sixteen identical sweatsuits, the typical uniform of the inmates of Ontario’s sixteen residential institutions, while Packing (above) features a trunk that was sent with a seven-year-old boy during his confinement in the Orillia Asylum for Idiots in the early 1950s.
The project is a reclamation of the lost history of a significant minority in Canadian society, and provokes thought about current issues of accessibility. Doing its part to promote new ways of thinking about disability, the ROM has included special additions to the exhibit, like video podcasts of the exhibit text in American Sign Language, audio podcasts including detailed visual descriptions of the panels, and touch stations featuring various objects. This will allow a greater number of people to appreciate the exhibit, while simultaneously inviting able viewers to reevaluate the actual experience of visiting a museum itself.
The exhibit will be on display on Level 3 of the ROM’s historic building (100 Queen’s Park) from this Thursday, April 17 to July 13, 2008.
All podcasts will be available on the ROM website, after the opening.
Photo courtesy of Kathryn Church/Ryerson University’s School of Disability Studies