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DADAA has launched the Digital Diversity Project which builds on the success of our previous digital arts development work. Made possible through the Fremantle Foundation’s WA Relief & Recovery Fund: COVID-19, the five-month project aims to address digital disadvantage and inclusion in the Midland area.

Over the years, DADAA projects such as The Lost Generation Project, stARTspeak, Paper Project, and more recently the Digital Transitions Project, have aimed to increase digital inclusion and digital literacy for people with disabilities, as well as introducing new opportunities for creativity and self-expression through digital technology.

The Lost Generation Project was DADAA’s first long-term project (2007 – 2013) in digital story telling practices that engaged older people with intellectual disability living in supported accommodation to connect with their communities. While StARTSPEAK explored the impact of touch screen technologies for people with disabilities and, for over 12 years, influenced DADAA’s work with vastly diverse communities and individuals, including older people, Aboriginal people with disability and people with disabilities from linguistically diverse communities.

The Digital Diversity Project is a capacity building initiative that came about as a response to DADAA’s online workshop delivery during the outbreak of Covid-19 in term 2, 2020.  This rapid shift to a digital platform was an enormous challenge, without specific training (and sometimes, adequate resources) for arts workers, and limited digital exposure, skills and/or support for many of our artists. DADAA’s arts workers adapted remarkably to this challenge to ensure workshops continued online and that DADAA’s community was not left isolated. However, upon evaluating the online workshops, it became clear that there was a disparity between the Fremantle and Midland sites with the uptake of online workshops in Midland being significantly lower. 

The Digital Diversity Project aims to address this gap by ensuring that DADAA’s Midland arts workers, support workers and participants are given the resources, skills and support needed to successfully engage in online workshops should we have to go into lockdown again. The project also aims to increase engagement in the exciting creative potential digital technology can bring to the art studio and the work of DADAA’s participants.

The project will be evaluated using the Most Significant Change Method, a monitoring and evaluation system based on a qualitative, participatory approach where stakeholders are involved in all aspects of the evaluation. By focussing on four domains of change: confidence and competency, social connectedness, attitude and degree of engagement, and creativity and self-expression, the impact of the project is evaluated through baseline interviews and then the recording of Significant Change stories told by participants at the end of the project.

It is hoped that the project will extended and eventually be rolled out across other DADAA sites.

images: Installation views of Homepage (December 4 – 17, 2020), an exhibition which showcased artists’ work from DADAA’s Digital Transitions Project and online workshop program, photo: Louise Coghill

DADAA respectfully acknowledges the Whadjuk and Yued people of the Noongar nation and the Southern Yamatji Peoples, the traditional owners of the lands upon which DADAA operates. We recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture and pay our respects to their Elders past and present.

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