Swearer student gives TEDx talk on accessibility in art

May 10, 2023

Swearer Center student and newly inducted Royce Fellow, Rishika Kartik '26, recently gave a TEDx talk titled, "Creativity is More Accessible Than Meets The Eye." In it, Rishika shares her personal experiences working with the blind/visually impaired community and how that community has inspired her to become an advocate for accessibility and creativity.

She begins the talk by questioning the boundaries we have placed around art and creativity, "Don't touch the art. Four simple words. And yet it disproportionately impacts 253 million blind or visually impaired people worldwide. Art prides itself on pushing boundaries, yet we still view creativity two-dimensionally. Literally." Through this talk, she aims "to raise awareness about accessibility and spark a broader conversation around creativity, inclusivity, and challenging society's misconceptions about disability." 

Rishika will continue building on this work through her Royce Fellowship project titled "Artistic Visions: The Impact of Making Art Accessible For the Blind,” which will examine the therapeutic benefits of arts education in blind communities, identify ways to make the arts more accessible, and understand how people experience art non-visually. She shares her excitement about the work, describing future opportunities "to host art workshops for blind students at the National Federation of the Blind and spread disability awareness through a public art installation."

For her project, Rishika is working with the National Federation of the Blind, the Colorado Center for the Blind and the Colorado School for the Deaf and Blind. Her mentor is Sydney Skybetter, Deputy Dean of the College for Curriculum and Co-Curriculum at Brown. Rishika hopes that, like her TEDx talk, her Fellowship project "further encourages people to broaden their definition of creativity, prioritize accessibility, and build a more inclusive future."