Evaluation of the Totally Touchable arts intervention project for sight impaired adults

Manship, S. and Hatzidimitriadou, E. (2015) Evaluation of the Totally Touchable arts intervention project for sight impaired adults. Research Report. ISBN 9781909067554. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This evaluation was designed in order to explore the impact of a person-centred intervention project of tactile art for sight impaired adults on their health and wellbeing. ‘Totally Touchable’ was instigated and delivered by an artist facilitator with specialist experience in working with blind and sight impaired participants, and overseen by a project coordinator. The project incorporated 14 artist-led sessions which took place over an eight week period in September and October 2015 and a final exhibition of the work produced followed the project delivery.

Questionnaires incorporating a wellbeing scale (‘WEMWBS’) were administered to participants at three time points during the project – beginning, mid-point and end. Total scores were collated and statistically analysed. Additionally, interviews were conducted with participants, facilitators and volunteers involved in the Totally Touchable project to elicit key themes regarding their experiences of the programme in terms of its impact on their health and wellbeing.

Findings from the evaluation indicate that WEMWBS (wellbeing) scores of participants increased during the life of the programme, and that clear psychological and social benefits were experienced, including social bonding, broadening horizons, enhanced mental health, increased empowerment and confidence and raised awareness of individuals with sight impairments.

Recommendations include the development and dissemination of a toolkit to assist those introduction similar interventions and exhibitions to ensure accessibility for sight impaired people and how to attract and inspire people to take part in arts activities; ensuring the venues for such projects are fit for purpose and that sessions are of an appropriate length; ensuring that the level of staffing/resources is adequate, to include support for the artist facilitator including practical assistance and potentially a mental health practitioner to support both the group members and facilitator. In addition, further research and evaluation is required in the area of the impact on the facilitator as well as on participants, and encouragement of commissioners is required to consider supporting arts for health projects for people who are sight impaired, and these projects should be longer-term, delivered to a wider population and incorporate comprehensive evaluations.

Item Type: Report (Research Report)
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts > N8350 Art as a profession. Artists
N Fine Arts > NX Arts in general
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Health and Wellbeing > School of Public Health, Midwifery and Social Work
Depositing User: Miss Sharon Manship
Date Deposited: 05 Feb 2016 15:46
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2016 15:46
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/14284

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00