“Blindness, Technology, and Multimodal Reading” is a two-day conference focusing on the relationship among visual disabilities, reading formats, and multimodal literacy from historical as well as present-day perspectives. It brings together internationally renowned figures from the humanities, sciences, and public sector to discuss technological innovations designed to make reading material accessible to blind and other print-disabled readers. The conference will involve researchers working on a wide range of topics including embossed printing, talking books, text-to-speech reading machines, refreshable braille displays, screen readers, and electronic note-takers. Questions to be considered include: How can visual material be translated into media accessible to other senses including touch, hearing, scent, and taste? How are new techniques of representation linked to new forms of cognition and community? What lessons have been learned about the practice of reading from historical experiments with print access? In today’s digital environments, how does multimodal literacy encompass both blind and sighted readers?
Keynote speakers include Georgina Kleege (Berkeley), Pat Beech (RNIB), Julie Anderson (Kent), George Williams (South Carolina Upstate), and Selina Mills (writer and journalist).
We invite proposals for 15-20 minute presentations. Please email abstracts of 250-300 words and a short cv or bio to Matt Rubery (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Mara Mills (email@example.com) by 1st February 2014.
This event is generously supported by the Wellcome Trust and will take place at the Wellcome Collection in central London, near several museums, archives, and other centers at the forefront of preservation efforts related to the history of blindness.
Dr Matthew Rubery
Reader in Nineteenth-Century Literature
School of English and Drama
Queen Mary, University of London
London E1 4NS