Meeting 2 held in Osimo, Italy 5th -7th March 2013
Michael as co-ordinator of the project welcomed all participants to the meeting in Osimo,
Aine raised that some member counties had not returned evaluation forms from the last meeting in Munich. Some evaluation discussions will take place during the first session of this meeting; however, it is important that forms are returned to Aine as soon as possible.
Members viewed photographs and video evidence of the interactive workshop from the last meeting in Munich in November. Discussions took place as to how positive this had been.
A discussion took place around the differences between client groups in each of the member countries, and how all clients have differing abilities. The group went on to discuss that for children and adults with significant multi-disabilities as well as a visual impairment it is important to identify any barriers to meaningful participation, and to ensure that any barriers identified where possible are overcome.
Evaluation from Munich meeting
There appears to have been some difficulty for some members in receiving the evaluation forms circulated by Aine. Hard copies were issued to members for completion by week ending 15th March 2013. Evaluation forms from Osimo should also be completed.
The questions from the form were projected for members to view and the following comments were discussed and noted.
Guy from France who is blind commented that he struggled to understand when there was more than one conversation going on. However, he felt that the presentations in Munich had been good, and being able to review the theatre work of the clients in Germany had also been very good and informative.
Members agreed that only one person should speak at a time and that if necessary there should be a pause in the meeting following this for any necessary translations to take place. The group acknowledged that there were challenges to working within a multi-lingual group, but that these could be overcome and that there were many positive aspects of working and learning in this situation.
Scotland raised that they felt that the Project was progressing well, and that it was good to see different client groups and to have opportunities to see and discuss different methods of good practice.
Italy agreed with this, and felt that knowledge will expand and be collected as the project progresses. The Project has enabled boundaries to be pushed and for member institutions to look at activities in a different ways. It will be important for the Guidelines reflect this by enabling different services to look at practice in a different way. This will in turn hopefully change the perception of the general public of disabled people, and particularly their view of people who are MDVI.
Scotland explained that at the Royal Blind School all pupils have expressive arts as part of the curriculum, however, out with this not all young people have the this opportunity. It was important to ensure that the skills gained in the educational setting were transferred when young people moved on to adult services. Discussion took place that expressive art was often a safe environment for people to be able to express their feelings. Scotland gave an example of practice where a young person was able to express anger and how he was able discuss his feelings with the educator following this.
Members discussed that expressive art enabled people with MDVI to boost their self-esteem, feel more stimulated, have more awareness of self, and that all of these factors helped to work towards inclusion of MDVI adults in general society. Germany explained that one of the main aims of their institute was to enable clients to participate in theatre work as paid employment.
Scotland raised concerns regarding taking a production into an open forum such as a large theatre. Clients in Scotland are used to thinking about performing in the familiar surroundings of the school setting. In June of this year clients from Scotland will be preforming in a local theatre and during this a short section of the Tempest will be performed. However, it was difficult to see how this would fit in with the production which may be undertaken at the end of the Project. Italy expressed that they had experienced similar problems, but were able to give an account of work undertaken with clients to prepare them for performing in different settings, and this had resulted in a positive outcome.
Members agreed that it would be important to include this point in the Guidelines as it is essential to prepare clients for the experience of performing in the theatre.
Members stated that it had been helpful to travel to Munich and see different client groups. Germany was able to give an account of the progress made over a ten year period.
Summary of session:
Many possibilities to develop talent of clients but it will be necessary to look at different clients and at each meeting it would be beneficial to look at what each member country is doing. This should include looking at what difficulties if any, had arisen. Members acknowledged that it important to ensure that honest reflection of outcomes and experiences took place.
A very important factor was that members had to acknowledge that the term MDVI meant different things to each member country, and that reference to this should be included in the Guidelines. All aspects/abilities of people with MDVI should be included in the Guidelines.
Members also raised that expectations of what had to be prepared prior to meetings should be clearer. if presentations for example were to be undertaken then it should be clear what these were not just appearing as an agenda item.
This was highlighted as a learning outcome from the first meeting, and that clear statements/guidelines of what had to be prepared by member countries prior to the next meeting should be in place. Member counties should be more aware of what it is necessary to bring to meetings to `showcase‘ work being undertaken in member institutions.
Members also identified that it was important to have an open mind regarding audience participation, particularly parents of clients as it can often be difficult from them to see their family member in a different setting. The experience in all member countries was that families were often narrow minded regarding the abilities of disabled people.
Various examples of practice were discussed by all member countries. Agreed actions:
Evaluation forms to be sent to Aine (Scotland) -Scotland will then collate and prepare summary which will be circulated prior to next meeting, and any issues or concerns will be discussed at the first session of the next meeting in France.
Members viewed a DVD showing the work, and facilities of the Centre in Osimo. This included testimonials from clients, parents and families of clients, various professionals as well as volunteers.
Members visited Kalorama, a residential service for clients in Osimo, and then members watched a production of Le Bohiem performed by clients of the Kalorama Theatre group. This was followed by a visit to a workshop in Osimo.
The day concluded with members of the group enjoying a trip to the nearby Conero Rivera followed by dinner in Osimo.
Wednesday 6th March 2013
The meeting started with Margaret Simpson from The Royal Blind School in Scotland giving an account of her role at the school and this impacts on the education of pupils and how in turn expressive arts impacts on this.
Margaret discussed how visually impaired young people have difficulty with expression. Photographs of the work being undertaken at The Royal Blind School were circulated.
Scotland also explained how use of masks will be used during a performance of The Tempest in June 2013 in an external theatre production.
Materials to make masks were circulated and members were asked to make masks. Once the masks were made members had to explain why they had produced them the way they had, and what their feelings were, and how this could relate to the clients within the member countries.
Scotland went on to explain how tactile methods were used with young people with MDVI to explore different experiences and often these methods were used to produce scenery or backgrounds of dramatic productions. Often music will also be used. MDVI pupils are also involved in sensory stories and Scotland gave examples of this work, and CD’s were shared with the group. A general discussion took place around how this enables MDVI clients to participate in theatre/drama even when stories are complex. An example of a complex American folk tale was played to give the group an idea of how this feels for MDVI clients, and how even complex stories such as the chosen text of The Tempest can be shared and experienced by MDVI clients.
The processes discussed above should be reflected in the Guidelines by:
A statement should be included regarding acknowledgement of the differences of MDVI client’s abilities.
It may be necessary to include different sections for different client groups. A description of the target group which will include;
Clients who are:
- Deaf Blind
- Visual impairment – including additional support, psycho/sensory/motor disease, intellectual impairment
- Nonverbal communication
- Non ambulant-wheelchair users
- Autism and Asperger’s Able blind
- Three sections should encompass this which would be Severe/Moderate/Able blind
Method and Practice
Create emotional situations for clients to prepare for life situations
Example of experience from member country institutions
Acknowledgement of different cultures from within members – in some cultures theatre promoted,
others not recognised
Acknowledgement of the fact that performances may be for social/educational/ employment needs There will be transnational aspects which may vary
Principals need described at beginning of guidelines
Performance is an instrument for social education and integration
The Process is an important aspect for MDV1 clients as it can aid self-esteem
Promotes ability over disability
Clients can use skills in many areas of their lives
May enable family and friends to see client in a different way
Role and Responsibility of Educator
What can I expect- what can I create
No barriers – ability to overcome barriers
Ability to experiment
Stand back and listen and see
Understanding of theatre/art in any form
Understanding of client group – acceptance of client for who they are
Be creative and be able to adapt creative ways
Ability to think in different ways
See potential in clients and be able to challenge and encourage them Sense of humour
Be able to involve appropriate support – i.e. volunteers, supporters, carers
Builds self esteem
Promotion of art (for more able adults)
Workplace – employment opportunities
involvement of clients who are new to theatre/expressive art
Important to include in the guidelines as may give additional thoughts to expand ideas for inclusion of MDVI clients in theatre. For example, in set production rather than just performance art.
France gave practical examples of theatre work with children, and the group discussed that it was necessary to work in a different way whilst working with these different client groups.
Also during this session there was lengthy discussion by member countries regarding the differences in client groups, and their varying abilities, and of the purpose of theatre work.
Germany were keen to emphasise that work undertaken by their clients was to try and engage them in paid theatre employment, however, Scotland and Italy felt that it was unlikely that the client group they were working with were unlikely to be in this situation. There were also some differences in the way member countries viewed theatre work in that for some client groups the work would have a therapeutic element where as Germany felt that this was not the case for their clients and the aim should be paid employment. These differences were debated and discussed and the issues were resolved by members agreeing that the guidelines would have to be broken into different sections and categories to reflect the difference in ability of clients.
Suggested logos were circulated for consideration by group members. After discussion a logo with two faces was the preferred choice. France suggested use of Braille as well as the words IMAGIBE MDVI. Sketches were made and circulated. Work will be undertaken to include this on the web site, and members will approve at the next meeting.
Any information or photographs should be sent to Michael for inclusion on the website. Permission should be sought from clients or their guardians for use on the website.
A discussion took place that examples of good practice should be placed on the web site. Attention needs to be paid to copyright laws and regulations.
The next steps
Members shared examples of how they thought The Tempest will be produced in member counties.
A production of The Tempest will take place in Osimo at the final meeting of the Project in May 2014.
Different institutions may present different productions
Original aim of the Project included production of a DVD which may include testimonials/statements from families and people associated with clients.
Italy/Germany/France may be part of live production
Some partners may only produce DVD material- Scotland may produce backdrop/sounds/technical support and this may then be added to the final live production.
Suggestions were made that the play could be divided up into parts to enable all clients to participate in an active way in the final production. Discussion took place as to how this would work in practice, and as there was different viewpoints on this it was decided that members need to return to their institutions and reflect on how this could work in practice, and that further discussions will take place in May 2013. Decisions can be made as to which section/part each institutions clients can participate in.
Members were shown a presentation from Germany of the work undertaken by clients at SWW, and photographs were circulated.
The day concluded with a visit to the Tactile Museum in Ancona, a sightseeing tour of the town and then dinner in a nearby town.
Michael should be made of any presentations which will be included in France prior to the meeting for inclusion on the agenda.
France will send work prepared for Osimo meeting to Michael for circulation to all members.
Italy gave presentation on work already undertaken on the Tempest with clients. This will be placed on the Imagine website.
Tasks were identified for completion before meeting in France in May 2013:
Goals for each member country will be discussed in France so thoughts should be given to this. – Scotland stated that clients currently involved will leave school in June, and that parallels and messages drawn from the story of the Tempest were being used to help young people with the transition process.
The group agreed that all messages given should be positive. It may turn out that audiences will devolve their own message from the various productions. Debate took place as to whether messages should be given or whether it should be open for messages to devolve from both member countries and their client groups, and this may continue to change and develop throughout the process. Acknowledgement needs to be made to differences in cultures and abilities of client groups.
Members felt that the process was progressing, however, Michael voiced concerns that it may be difficult to evidence how we have come to this result. Members reflected and discussed this. Michael felt it was important to identify what the end production would look like. However, members felt that further time was needed to allow process to develop. Members felt that at each meeting DVD’s and discussions were taking place which would devolve as the process develops and that this was evidence. It was highlighted however that there may be difficulties with continuity of technology. Live presentations at each meeting would also be evidence.
Scotland raised that it may be difficult to merge clients from all countries.
Time factors should also be taken into consideration at the final event.1.5 hours would probably be the maximum performance time.
Debate ensued regarding the possibility of an audience watching four productions of the same play. Time factors would then become an issue, as well as ensuring that the audience don’t become bored.
Scotland raised that it might be a good idea for each member country to perform part of the story. Workshops could take place in member institutions to ensure that clients had access to the whole story.
Some concerns were raised regarding merging live performance with media performances/links; however, members felt that this was now a method often used in theatre productions. Care needs to be taken to ensure that the final production is integrated. A suggestion was made that a narrator could be appointed. An alternative could be that a festival type format could be used. Music playing between sections and information on different services offered in different member countries could be provided. Photos and DVD footage could also be used.
There was a suggestion that other services and clients could be invited to the final production.
Summary and Evaluation
Food and cultural programme for meeting in France May 2013 will be sent by French member to Michael.
Presentations regarding progress in member institutions to be prepared for each meeting.
End production will be standing agenda item until the end of the process.
Further discussions need to take place regarding methods used. Points for Guidelines will be re-visited. Members should put together their own thoughts to add to points raised at this meeting.
Reports to Agency need to be undertaken shortly as Project reaches mid-point. 0.5 of a day will be allocated to this in France in May to complete this task.
Content of meeting in France May 2013 and member responsibilities.
Scotland to send logo ideas to Michael. Decision will be made on this at the next meeting.
Evaluation forms for Osimo meeting to Aine by 15.3.13 and also for Munich if not already returned.
Presentations from Osimo to be sent to Michael for inclusion on the website. Text from Scotland will be combined with music.
Full notes from meeting in Osimo as well as summary for inclusion in MDVI newsletter to be sent by Scotland to Michael.
Any presentations for inclusion at meeting in France should be notified to Michael for inclusion on the agenda.
Any further thoughts on the guidelines to be added to the collective point to be brought to the meeting in France in order that a first draft can be drawn up at this point.
Any items for inclusion on the agenda in France should be submitted to Michael by the end of April.
Members felt that the time ratios between meetings, cultural and free time was appropriate.
The members of the group shared their thoughts and feelings of the progression of the Project over the last few days. Members from Scotland, Germany and France thanked Italy for their hospitality in Osimo over the last week which had been very positive for all group members.
Notes taken by Jan Thomson (Scotland)