Artists Centering Access
In this conversation, a group of artists, event programmers, and designers will talk about what it means to center access in creative encounters both in-person and online. The panel will explore how disability intersects with user experience and design, and the larger role that access plays in movements towards social justice. This event will be moderated by Josh Halstead and Jarah Moesch of the Critical Design Lab, a multi-disciplinary and multi-institution collaborative drawing on the methods of critical and interrogative design, intersectional feminist design theory, and crip technoscience to address thorny questions about accessibility. They will be joined by Sina Bahram, founder of Prime Access Consulting, and Camisha L. Jones, poet and managing director of Split This Rock.
Founder of the inclusive design firm Prime Access Consulting (PAC), Sina Bahram is an accessibility consultant, computer scientist, researcher, speaker, and entrepreneur. In 2012, Sina was recognized as a White House Champion of Change by President Barack Obama for his doctoral research work enabling users with disabilities to succeed in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. Believing that accessibility is sustainable when adopted as a culture, not just a tactic, Sina and his team work with executive management, policy makers, engineering teams, content creators, designers, and other stakeholders within institutions to promulgate accessibility and inclusive design throughout the fabric of an organization. Under Sina’s direction, PAC has helped over 100 organizations to meet and exceed their inclusivity goals, from the creation of accessible websites and mobile apps to achieving a comprehensive inclusive design methodology across the enterprise. In addition to serving on and chairing various boards, conferences, committees, and working groups across corporate, non-profit, and research entities, Sina serves as an invited expert on the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) working group where he helps shape the next generation of digital accessibility standards and best practices.
Josh Halstead is a design leader and disability advocate blending theory and praxis. A brand and design expert, he has created impactful experiences for clients in the technology, financial services, consumer electronics, energy, nonprofit, and professional services sectors. In addition to teaching graphic and user experience design at UC Berkeley Extension, Josh has been an invited lecturer and panelist at Stanford University, UC Berkeley, California College of the Arts, AIGA Design Conference, Society of Disability Studies, and Google among others. Committed to local and widespread social change, he is a board member at the Center for Independent Living in Berkeley and a member of the Advisory Council to the Aging and Adult Services Commission in San Francisco and the AIGA Diversity & Inclusion Task Force. Josh holds a BFA from Art Center College of Design and is an MA candidate in disability studies at CUNY.
Camisha L. Jones
Camisha has over 20 years experience as a program planner at non-profits and institutions of higher education and is Split This Rock’s Managing Director. Programs she has led have focused on anti-bias dialogue, volunteer coordination, leadership development, youth enrichment, and community building. Camisha is the author of Flare (Finishing Line Press, 2017). Her poems – which often center experiences of hearing loss, chronic pain, gender, and race – can be found at The New York Times, Poets.org, Button Poetry, The Deaf Poets Society, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Typo, The Quarry, and elsewhere. She is also published at VIDA: Women in Literary Arts, as well as in Let’s Get Real: What People of Color Can’t Say and Whites Won’t Ask about Racism (StirFry Seminars & Consulting, Inc., 2011), and Class Lives: Stories from Across Our Economic Divide (ILR Press, 2014). She is Franklin & Marshall College’s 2017 Lapine Poetry Fellow, one of The Loft Literary Center’s 2017 Spoken Word Immersion Fellows, and a Fellow of The Watering Hole. She competed at the 2013 National Poetry Slam with Slam Richmond. Find her on Facebook as Poet Camisha Jones, on Twitter as @1Camisha, on Instagram as @1camisha, and online at her blog.
Jarah Moesch (MFA, PhD) is an artist-scholar whose work explores issues of justice through the design, production, and acquisition of embodied knowledges. Jarah’s research incorporates queer theory, critical race theory, cultural studies, art, and design practices to develop new models for justice and to imagine new worlds. Their research investigates the production, distribution, and maintenance of knowledge pathways, and then builds new possibilities, from physical modeling and prototyping, to policies for designing different worlds. Jarah’s artwork ranges from traditional forms of art to contemporary new media practices, and tactical social interventions. This multi-modal work explores the tangled relationship between technologies, systems, and embodied knowledges through the performance of everyday life. Jarah’s artwork has been shown across the United States as well as internationally in festivals and exhibitions. Jarah holds an MFA in Integrated Media Arts from Hunter College, and a PhD in American Studies from University of Maryland.