Reading College LLD/D Students MERL Workshop 31.03.14

The main focus of our workshop was for our co-researchers to try out some of the Sensory Objects in development. Sian’s mooing boot was first, the group enjoyed stroking it, sometimes if fell over which surprised people, but the boot has been rebuilt by Nic with it’s electronics inside, to be pretty robust. We did wonder if we need to weight it down in someway, although some co-researchers would like to pick it up and stroke it others wanted to just pat it, which could make it topple over.

Sian with 2mooing boots

Sian with a pair of mooing boots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sian was clear that she preferred hearing her own mooing rather than having sounds of real cows, so we recorded her mooing and will change the sound track. She also painted another version of Old MacDonald for the New Boot.

Luck tests his bucket

Luke tests his bucket

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luke’s ‘Hole in one’ bucket was next, Nic tested out flag poles that would alter the sound track when the egg/ball went down the hole. Luke definitely preferred it when he heard his own voice. We discovered the hole to put the pole in was had to find and that wooden poles were easy to break so Nic suggested aluminium poles. We recorded Luke speaking some more to add to the recording.

Then we tested out Skye’s Farm in a bucket, Skye had asked for the sound to be on constantly so the sounds of the farm were fitted with a timer.

But the group had become used to touching to trigger sounds from their previous experience with the boot. We wondered if we should add a touch sensor too?

We also tested the sensors for Rachel’s pig it still needs a bit of work we demoed it with NIc making the sounds as the sensors are not quite ready yet. Rachel also made a fantastic drawing of animals

Rachael drawing

Rachel drawing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also made smoothies which we had after another delicious lunch with freshly churned butter supplied by Robyn. We drew on and planted out some more Wellie boots with plants that smell good. Rachel and Guillermo concentrated really hard on this task and collected some stones from MERL’s garden for drainage.

planting out boots

Planting out boots with herbs and flowers

Update on mooing boot

See Mooing boot for an update on Sian’s mooing boot.

Mooing boot

Mooing boot

Reading Mencap at MERL 06.03.14

Reading Mencap Coffee Club came to MERL to help us with our research.

We focussed on the sense of smells to begin, Kassie organised 6 bags with smells inside and asked the group to find something in the museum that linked to the smells in the bags. Kassie had placed some of the wellie boots filled with herbs in around the museum.

Smells in bags Reading Mencap

Smells in bags Reading Mencap

 

Smell hunt

These are the places the group thought the smells belonged

The group photographed where they thought the smells belonged. Next we demonstrated some of the sensory objects developed by our Co-Researchers at Reading College.

Srokingforsounds

Sroking for sounds

Sians boot was very popular mooing when stroked, although Caroline found it disturbing, she preferred the sheep fleece cushion that went baa when stroked. We are working with Reading Mencap as local advisors for our project we were keen to hear their thoughts and opinions about the project so far. The next activity was to focus on taste, lead by Robyn the group made their own smoothies and juice, they really enjoyed this, learnt about how healthy and easy it was and delicious too.

Smoothies and Juice

Smoothies and Juice

After Robyns delicious lunch at which we spread our bread with butter that we had made from shaking cream in a jar with a marble in it we showed the group some of the electronics kits we have used with our Co-Researchers from Reading College. We wanted to see if they found our littleBits go LARGE kit easier to use. Kevin had a go with both and found them both easy, Charlie and Miranda made some excellent sounds with the Synth Kit.

Reading Mencap try littleBits

Reading Mencap try littleBits

 

Reading College LLD/D Students MERL Workshop 24.02.14

Co-Researchers with Design for all Award

Co-Researchers with our International Design for all Foundation Award

At our session at MERL we took photos of our group with our International Design for All  Foundation Award and celebrated by making a chocolate cake organised by Robyn.

Sensory Objects Researchers, Reading College Students and Staff with Design Award

In the garden of MERL with Sensory Objects Researchers, Reading College LLD/D Students and Staff with our International Design for all Foundation Award . Photo by RUMENA

Our Co-Researchers helped Robyn make a cake and prepare our lunch they were given the opportunity to try on some mop caps that farmers wives would wear.

Preparing lunch wearing Mop Caps

Preparing lunch wearing Mop Caps

Rachel helped Robyn mix the chocolate cake mix

To celebrate our award we made cakes

To celebrate our award we made cakes

Celebrating our award with tea and Cake

Celebrating our award with tea and Cake

Co-Researchers with Access for all Design Award in MERL

Co-Researchers in MERL with their International Design for All Foundation

After lunch Robyn asked the group to try making a glass filled with water make a ringing noise. The idea was for our Co-Researchers to do an activity that would allow the group to  be calm and restful. The picture below show Rachel making a glass of water make a ringing sound with her wet finger. We also asked the group to sit and look into a jar containing water and glitter each with farm animal inside that Robyn had made.

Making a glass sing Rachel

Making a glass sing Rachel

Looking at Glitter Jars

Looking at Glitter Jars

We also did more work on our interactive objects and posters for our event on JUNE 9th 2014.

Rumena worked on her chickens head it now has three eyes! Rumena chose a pair of yellow marigold gloves for the chickens wings, Nic is working on a way to make the wings flap. We tested a stroke sensor in Sians boot that made a mooing sound when she stroked the furry boot. We tested Luke’s ‘Blue Flag, Hole in one’ mechanisim it was nice and loud but now it needs to have Luke’ voice instead of numbers on the recording. We asked Skye about her creature and basket she would like all the farm animal noises. We explained to Guillermo that we plan to create 4 buckets with sensors that Guillermo can play, we also asked him about a balloon he had painted red and blue he said it was a donkey. Rachel would like her yellow pig to grunt, we also explained we will make her other pig rustle in its straw bucket. Rachel 2 worked on the nose of her pig which she would like to grunt when Squeezed.

We asked the group to fill in empty speech and thought bubbles for our poster. What sensory things have they heard, tasted, seen, touched and tasted in the Museum of English Rural Life, what do they think about the senses and MERL?

Sian&SkyeSpeech Bubbles

Sian & Skye Speech Bubbles

SianandSkyeThoughtBubbles

Sian and Skye Thought Bubbles

Luke drew his thoughts about the milk bottles in the display at MERL the picture is shown here alongside an instant pic taken by one of our Co-Researchers and given a smiley sticker as one of our groups favourite pics.

Luke picture of Milk bottles

Luke picture of Milk bottles

Reading College LLD/D Students Multi Media Advocacy Workshop 14.02.14

Andy and Ajay from the Rix Centre led a Multi Media Advocacy Session with our Co-Researchers at Reading College. They did some further work with students on their wikis, the idea was to see how we might be able to join up some of the work we have done about MERL with multi sensory workshops with the work that is part of the student curriculum on independent living, transition and developing participation in the community. We thought that we could draw from the existing array of photos that students have from MERL and see how we can talk and work on themes such as WORK, TRANSPORT, WHERE YOU LIVE and HOUSING, COOKING, DOMESTIC SKILLS etc. – using the MERL experience and sensory approaches as the starting point. The video below shows Sian with Andy’s help demonstrating to the group how to make pages for her wiki about Travel. Ajay took some video clips of Sian and Andy.

Our aim is to use the students’ wikis as a place where they can put together their thoughts and ideas. They may also use the Internet and Google Image search to connect the old with the new, bringing their insights and sensory understandings into their reflection about their own lives and their future goals and wishes.

Co-Researchers at Reading College

Co-Researchers at Reading College

The picture below shows Andy and Sian working together on the interactive white board to create Sian’s wiki. The idea was to explore transport Sian had seen in MERL a tractor then discuss how Sian travels, she found a picture of a taxi and showed us her bus pass.

Sian and Andy talk TRANSPORT

Sian and Andy talk TRANSPORT

Then all the Co-Researchers created pages about Transport using i Pads.

Group using ipad

Racheal, Rachel, Guillermo and Skye using i pad to talk TRANSPORT

International Design for All Foundation Award 2014

This evening Nic was in Paris for the International Design for All Foundation Award and our project Sensory Objects won an International Design for All Foundation Award. The award was given for our research Making Electronics Accessible to People with Learning Disabilities we told them all about the research we are all doing to make the sensory objects workshops more accessible for our Co-Researchers. The picture below shows our award.

International Access for All Design Award

International Access for All Design Award

Testing the Sensory Objects Cookbook at Sudley House Liverpool 07.02.14

This testing session the first of six was a chance for Nic to introduce the Cookbook to a new group, and to introduce Sudley House. The picture below shows our Co-Researchers looking at the Cookbook.

Cookbook Test at Sudley House

Cookbook Test at Sudley House

Stephen Hogg, Angela Green, Gerry Regan and June Jenkins were Sensory Objects Co-Researchers 2012-13 at Speke Hall Liverpool. We asked them along with Ticky Lowe and Nic Hollinworth to meet and introduce John, Keith and Pauline and support worker Anita from Stockbridge Day Centre to the Sensory Objects project Cookbook. John, Keith, Pauline and Anita are new to the project and we wanted to show them the Cookbook and see if they found it easy to use as a guide to planning sensory activities at a new venue. Led by Ticky we explored Sudley House focusing on and recording textures of  actual objects, costume and objects in paintings.

Sudley Hall Textures

Sudley Hall Textures

Then back in the workshop room we used Ticky’s collection of fabrics to choose textures like the ones we found in the house to make a “textural” record of our visit. For the next sessions Anita will be using the cookbook to plan and deliver workshops at Sudley House herself. Ticky’s role will be to document the sessions and find out how Anita finds using the cookbook to plan and deliver the sessions. 

Reading College LLD/D Students MERL Workshop Eleven 27.01.14

We met up for the first time this year at MERL we started our workshop by reviewing the objects we made last term, and what needed still to be done ready for our exhibition on June 9th 2014.

Group Busy at Work

Group Busy at Work

Nic had added a sensor to Lukes bucket the idea was based on Lukes interest in golf, the bucket has a golf hole in the top when the ball or egg is dropped in it triggers a sound. The image below shows the group testing it. Sometimes the sound worked but sometimes it did not Nic trieded to find out why.

Testing the hole in one bucket

Testing the hole in one bucket

Then Our Co-Researchers were then asked to help design a logo for the Sensory Objects project here are some of their ideas.

Logos

Logos

Robyn prepared a delicious lunch including baked apples that the group stuffed with sultanas, apricots, nuts and seeds which were cooked in the microwave. The picture below shows Sian with some of the apples.

Sian with baked apples

Sian with baked apples

After lunch the group worked with Ajay to make some sensory posters for our exhibition. Ajay recorded the group speaking about each sense and starting to choose pictures to use on the posters. Then we asked the group to start planting herbs in wellie boots so by June we would be able to add some smells to the museum, we planted thyme, rosemary, mint and chives.

Planting in boots

The picture below shows Rachel planting her boot with mint.

Rachel 2 planting boot

Rachel 2 planting boot

The picture below shows the group showing their boots planted Rumenas boot is in the centre.

Planting more boots

Planting more boots

MERL Whats On Guide

The Sensory Objects Project features in the latest MERL Whats On Guide

merl page of newsletter

merl page of newsletter

The picture above shows a page of the MERL newsletter featuring our Co-Researcher from Reading College Sian showing her Old Mac Donald’s wellie boot. The article tells about our SHOWCASE EVENT to be held at MERL on June 9th our Co-Researchers will be presenting their research to the public that day. The next day JUNE 10th we will be holding a SEMINAR and our Co- Researchers will present their research to curators, museum workers, academics, caseworkers etc.

Sensory Objects Project has been selected as a Good Practice in the International Design for All Foundation Awards 2014.

Good_Practice_logo

Good Practice logo

Making Electronics Accessible to People with Learning Disabilities Category: Project proposals, initiatives, methodologies and studies has been selected as a Good Practice in the International Design for All Foundation Awards 2014