Accessibility for the Older Population: Seniors and Arts Participation

Sitthiporn Thongnopnua

Abstract


Understanding how seniors engage in art, from passive observation to active participation, helps art institutions address inclusion of the elderly by eliminating not only physical, but also communication and attitudinal barriers. The purpose of my study is to contribute knowledge that helps everyone become more aware of the benefits the elderly can receive from arts engagement and the potential contributions they are able to make for their family and our societies. To explore contextual influences on seniors’ access to an art center, I conducted a field study focused older people’s attitudes about arts participation. In this study, I have discovered visual dimensions and rapport-building techniques that helped reveal a number of disregarded issues of accessibility for seniors in art institutions, in particular how important a physically conducive and non-threatening and noncompetitive environment is in seniors’ attitudes toward arts participation.

Keywords


art, art education, seniors, elderly, accessibility

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