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The Whitney’s ASL Vlog Project was the recipient of a Commendation for Sustainable Growth in the International Jodi Awards for Accessible Digital Culture. Each year, the Jodi Mattes Trust reviews nominated projects from around the globe to celebrate museums, galleries, libraries, and other heritage institutions that use digital technology to provide improved access to information, collections, learning, and creativity for people with disabilities. The Whitney is thrilled to be recognized this year with a commendation.
The award was presented on December 8, 2011 at the Digital Strategies for Heritage Conference in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. I traveled to accept the award in front of an audience of nearly 500 museum and heritage specialists, and had the pleasure of seeing one of our videos screened for the entire assembly. In addition, I was invited to present information about the project as part of a panel presentation on Inclusive Digital Heritage in the Twenty-first Century. It was an excellent opportunity to share our work and learn from colleagues abroad who are also working to expand access in the digital realm.
Whitney Video Blogs (vlogs) are original short videos featuring Deaf museum educators communicating in American Sign Language (ASL) on topics in contemporary art or exhibitions on view at the Museum. Each vlog is open-captioned and is produced by an integrated team consisting of a director/editor and Whitney educators who are Deaf, working with a videographer and interpretive media and education specialists who are hearing. Inspired by our popular Whitney Signs program, which offers free gallery tours in ASL, and our popular Whitney video series, the Vlog Project aims to increase cultural access for deaf and hard of hearing audiences and create a communications laboratory for contemporary art terminology in ASL. Look for new vlogs every month on whitney.org!
By Danielle Linzer, Manager of Access & Community Programs