In partnership with Vision Australia and Sculpture by the Sea, The Art Gallery of Western Australia held tactile tours at the 2009 Sculpture by the Sea exhibition at Cottesloe Beach for people with visual impairments. This case study outlines the key planning stages, implementation and key learnings of the award winning touch tour and is from ‘Open Arts: Reflections on the Disability and the Arts Inclusion Initiative in Western Australia’ (a partnership between the Department of Culture and the Arts and the Arts and Disability Services Commission).
For vision-impaired people, touch is the main way to acquire information or access a work of art. By feeling the shape of a piece and its textures, you are able to imagine the work. If also assisted by a guide who can fill in the missing gaps of information, a person with vision impairments is then able to experience and appreciate art in a similar way to a person with full vision.