Free online roundtable will discuss widening access to music through pioneering tech – AT Today – Assistive Technology


Music industry knowhow will come together at a London event tomorrow to speed up the tempo of technology’s role in widening opportunities for musicians and producers with additional access needs.

Sight loss charity Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) has teamed up with Sound Without Sight and Creative United to hold a roundtable discussion about widening access to music through technology.

Taking place at Google’s state-of-the-art Accessibility Discovery Centre in its King’s Cross offices in London on 4 May 2023, the event will be live-streamed with an opportunity for questions and answers. Interested attendees can register for free here.

While eight out of 10 music fans can think of a blind or partially sighted professional musician, only three percent could identify one whose musical career has started in the last decade, according to RNIB.

Despite the many advances in technology that have made music making more accessible to the masses, barriers remain for disabled musicians including those with sight loss, the charity emphasises. The event will explore what support exists to give greater access to the next generation of musicians with disabilities.

Attendees at the Inclusive Design in Harmony event will hear from music technology companies, third-sector organisations, industry bodies, and musicians with a range of disabilities.

The conversation will focus on three key topics:

  1. Creating music and tools for composition and production
  2. Performance – How technology can assist with playing instruments and reading notation
  3. Releasing music – Distribution, promotion and nurturing artistic development

Robin Spinks, RNIB Head of Inclusive Design, said: “Music provides the soundtrack to our lives and we can’t wait to create this amazing opportunity for musicians to share their insights and experiences to help build better opportunities for future generations of music makers through technology.

“We are very grateful to Google for hosting and supporting the event and the Accessibility Discovery Centre will be a great venue to inspire innovative ideas about how to revolutionise inclusion in music for everyone.”

The event will be followed by an action plan, focusing on how technology can be harnessed to break down barriers to participation at the design stage.

The event is supported by Sound Without Sight, a non-profit initiative aimed at supporting blind and partially sighted people in the fields of audio and music, and Creative United, a community interest company committed to delivering programmes that increase public access to and engagements with the arts and creativity.

RNIB recently published an insightful report that details the range of barriers that blind and partially people face due to inaccessible public transport. Funded by Motability, it details common issues faced by blind and partially sighted people when making journeys.


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