Last weekend I had the immense pleasure of attending and presenting at the first ever conference on Music and Physical Disability by the OHMI Trust. There was such a range of attendees: music educators, performers with disabilities, medical professionals, music and occupational therapists, computer programmers, developers of digital music technologies, and more. I left the conference with a renewed passion for disability arts and so many ideas!
The conference began with an introduction from Dr. Stephen Hetherington, one of the founders of the OHMI Trust. Inga Petry, a cellist who plays with her feet, shared a welcoming address. She said that if an instrument does not work for a person, it has no value. If instruments were designed for people with three arms, they would not be useful for someone with two arms. Instruments ought to be designed for the people who play them. This idea fits the social model of disability, a concept which was mentioned again and again in presentations.
I did a presentation on Adaptive Piano Techniques!
I also got to meet Peter Worrell, the brilliant instrument maker who modified three recorders for me!
I will write about the sessions I saw in more depth later. In the meantime, here are a few more photographs!