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Professor Hannah Thompson nominated in the THE Awards 2021

Times Higher Education Awards 2021

  • Date13 September 2021

Many congratulations to our colleague Professor Hannah Thompson who, along with the College Curator Dr Laura MacCulloch, has been nominated in the Times Higher Education Awards 2021. The shortlisting is in the Outstanding Contribution to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion category, and recognises Hannah's and Laura's work to make the colleage art collection more accessible through audio description.

This award recognises and rewards a university that has built a truly inclusive environment in which all staff and students are treated fairly and with respect, and where diversity is championed. The wording of the nomination is as follows:

'In 2020, Royal Holloway, University of London became the first UK Higher Education Institution to provide free, online, and inclusive access to their stunning art collections. The College Curator worked with academics and Smartify to create a free online audio-described tour of paintings from the Picture Gallery. The tour uses digital technology developed by Smartify and a diverse range of voices, to make the Royal Holloway Picture Gallery accessible to blind and sighted visitors from around the world.
Unlike traditional audio description, ‘inclusive’ audio description does not claim to offer an objective description of an image. Instead, it recognizes that each beholder will see things differently. It welcomes non-normative gazes and encourages individual and inventive responses to art. These inclusive audio descriptions show that blindness is not a tragedy or an affliction, but a valuable and inventive way of being in the world which has much to offer sighted people.'

Find out more about Hannah's Teachng and Research.

The awards are announced in November.

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