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February 28, 2013

SUNY Student Develops Blind Art Project for UEC Patients

Shaista Vally, (SUNY class of 2015), was recently awarded a grant from the Optometric Center of New York to fund a proposed blind art program. The program will consist of four free art workshops, focused on touch and texture, for visually impaired adults. Sighted volunteers will be paired with each participant to act as artist assistants and aide in tasks that require vision, but the assistants will not impose on the creative process.

Vally hopes to make art accessible to the visually impaired community by teaching them how to express themselves and communicate with others through tactile media. While she attended the University of California at Berkeley as an undergraduate student Vally worked as a teaching assistant for a course called, “Art, Medicine, and Disability” which inspired her and provided her with the opportunity to research and design a unique art program for the visually impaired. Vally then piloted the curriculum at the Hatlen Center for the Blind in California.

Following her success at Hatlen, Vally was eager to implement a similar class at SUNY.  The workshops are expected to take place on Saturdays this June and participants will be able to register for the program beginning in April.

An accomplished artist herself, Vally’s work is currently on display at SUNY’s Harold Kohn Vision Science Library as well as at Park Slope Eye in Brooklyn. Vally will also be giving a lecture on her artwork, as well as her involvement in the visually impaired community, and her new blind art program on March 22, 2013 at noon in Room 206 at the College.

For more information r volunteer, please contact Shaista Vally at svally@sunyopt.edu.