About the project

Unlocked: Mapping Technology for Creativity is a research project sponsored by Arts Council England.

With many Deaf and disabled people needing to make use of technology in order to develop their creative practice, Unlocked aims to amass intelligence relating to Deaf and disabled artists and disability arts organisations use of arts-based technologies and how these technologies can maximize their creativity.

Decibels’ objective is that this research will support Deaf and disabled students, emerging artists along with national and international arts organisations working in this field to enhance their creativity.



The Research

The way Decibels’ gathered the research for Unlocked was made up of various strands such as:

  • Q&A’s – Decibels hosted live Twitter Q&A’s with Deaf/disabled professional artists and disability arts organisations to ask questions about their use of arts-based technologies in their creative work
  • Case studies – invited artists & organisations to submit a written case study around what arts-based technologies they use, there advantages & disadvantages
  • Academics / researchers – inviting those working at the intersection of creativity, technology and disability to submit work that provides further insight into how technology is being used in the disability arts setting and to what effect.

All of this information and more can be found here on the Unlocked webpage.

Decibels hopes that the online resource will provide Deaf and disabled people –and their colleagues, friends and carers – information about which products might offer them the greatest opportunity to develop their creativity and talents.



Get Involved

Deaf and/or disabled artists / disability arts organisations

If you would like to get involved with Unlocked (this could be submitting a case study or a user review of a new technology available) then please get in touch.


Deaf and/or disabled students/emerging artists/colleagues/friends/carers

Why not sign up to our newsletter to learn more about Decibels’ work and receive updates on new accessible arts-based technologies in the future? Click here to sign up.




The Future

Decibels is looking to gain more funding to further the research of Unlocked and in doing so, develop the Unlocked online resource. Watch this space!

Project Manager: Gemma Holsgrove

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Project Researcher: Will Sidebottom

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Project Co-ordinator: Debbie Flory

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Project Researcher: Will Sidebottom

Will is a singer-songwriter aspiring to be a Music Therapist, currently a Workshop Leader for Chiltern Music Therapy, a not-for-profit organisation that provides music therapy services to people of all ages and many different needs. Will is also a volunteer for Deafax, a charity that develops solutions and opportunities for deaf people, in order to empower and enhance their lives.

Will studied Bmus Commercial Music Performance at the University of Westminster, graduating in 2015
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Project Co-ordinator: Debbie Flory

Debbie joined Decibels in October 2014 and spends her time helping out with the day-to-day administration of the office as well as assisting with researching and sending out funding applications and co-ordinating the current projects. Prior to this, Debbie worked for many years in the Financial Services Sector starting as a member of the New Business Team and ending her career as Executive Assistant to the CEO & Sales Director. She was then approached by an ex-work colleague who was volunteering at Deafax, a charity for the deaf, to see if she would be interested in supporting them on their “admin side of things” – Debbie is still there 11 years later! Hobbies include travelling, cooking, reading and spending time with family and friends.
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