11th European e-Accessibility Forum
e-Accessible Culture

19/06/2017, 9am-6pm
Cité des sciences et de l'industrie, Paris

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The ‘Jodi Awards’ as a prism of accessible digital culture

Jodi Mattes Trust / University of Leicester

Speaker's information

Ross Parry

Dr Ross Parry is Associate Professor (Museum Studies) and Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Digital) University of Leicester, UK. He is also one of the founding Trustees of the Jodi Mattes Trust for accessible digital culture.

In 2005 he was made a HIRF Innovations Fellow for his work on developing in-gallery digital media, and in 2009 was made a Tate Research Fellow. From 2008 to 2011 he was elected chair of the national Museums Computer Group, and from 2004 to 2010 co-convened the annual 'UK Museums on the Web' (UKMW) conferences. Working with a network of 17 institutional partners, in 2017 he will lead a major 2.5 year national project, funded by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council, to develop a digital literacy framework for the UK museum sector. Ross is the author of Recoding the Museum: Digital Heritage and the Technologies of Change (Routledge 2007), the first major history of museum computing, and in 2010 published Museums in a Digital Age (Routledge).



For over a decade the Jodi Awards have been celebrating organisations that achieve excellence and push the boundaries of possibility for digital media in increasing participation for everyone. The ‘Jodis’ recognise the best use of digital technology in widening access to information, collections, learning and creativity for disabled people in museums, galleries, heritage sites, libraries and archives. The Awards were set up in 2002 by the Museums Computer Group - a cultural technology community of practice, based in the UK, but with around two thousand participants from around the world. The inaugural awards took place in 2003, the European Year of Disabled People. Today, administered by the Jodi Mattes Trust, a UK registered charity, the Jodi Awards are given in memory of Jodi Mattes (1973–2001). Jodi was a tireless champion of equal access to culture and the Awards were set up to celebrate her passion and energy. In her career at the British Museum and the RNIB (the Royal National Institute of Blind People), her work focused on improving the visitor experience to cultural activities for disabled people and the importance of involving disabled people in programme and project development.

Over a decade, the Jodis have not only made an informed and compelling case for accessible design, but they have raised the standards expected from the sector. As well as celebrating success and recognising innovation, the Jodi Awards serves as a body of work through which we can understand evolving practice in the museum sector. In particular they:

Rather than disability being something to be understood or accommodated, disability instead here becomes a mature, informed, nuanced, present, established place from which to reflect upon practice, and on the museum as a whole. This is disability academically activated for museums and Museum Studies.

Watch Ross Parry's presentation on YouTube. For subtitles, please use the CC button, and if you require a transcript do not hesitate to contact us at contact[at]


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