Access and Obstacles

Obstacle in Montreal

Access and Obstacles: Video Capsules, Interactive Database Narratives and Disability Rights is a collaborative research-creation pilot project. Engaging in participatory action research, participants with both visible and invisible disabilities will work with four researchers engaged either in new media production or in the study of the relationship between digital technologies and disabilities.

In addition to fostering a partnership between scholars in Communication Studies and Applied Human Sciences at Concordia, the most important goal of the project is for the team to collaboratively create six interactive “video capsules” in which participants discuss and demonstrate accessibility or inaccessibility to different public locations: the spaces will be decided upon by the participants in collaboration with the team. The short capsules will then be recombined using an interactive database-driven authoring software, Korsakow, to tell the collective story of these individual encounters with “the disabling environment.”

In addition to bringing media studies, critical disability studies, and mobility studies into conversation, one of the innovations of the project is that we will be able to create an interactive narrative by using geo-locational coordinates.  The film will be made publicly accessible through a website ( in French and in English, but will also be distributed at appropriate festivals, conferences and venues (such as The Festival of New Cinema). Materials for the public on disability rights, building codes, and contact numbers for services related to this will be generated to provide a broader set of resources for those who visit the website and view the final film. The ultimate goal is to raise public awareness about disability rights and the importance of inclusion and to transform accessibility to public space into a political issue that concerns us all.