Totally Touchable is a tactile arts project for sight impaired adults designed and delivered by artist, Wendy Daws. Sharon Manship, Research Assistant in the School of Public Health, Midwifery and Social Work, carried out an evaluation of the project to explore its impact on the health and wellbeing of those involved.
Questionnaires incorporating the Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Wellbeing Scale (‘WEMWBS’) were administered to participants at three time points during the project, the results of which were analysed. Interviews were also conducted with participants, facilitators and volunteers to elicit key themes regarding their experiences of the programme in terms of its impact on their health and wellbeing.
Findings indicate that WEMWBS (wellbeing) scores increased during the life of the programme, and that clear psychological and social benefits were experienced, including social bonding, broadening horizons, enhanced mental health, increased empowerment and confidence and raised awareness of individuals with sight impairments.
Sharon Manship commented on the project’s findings:
“The Totally Touchable project highlighted ways in which arts activities can be tailored for sight impaired individuals in an accessible and meaningful way, which resulted in a sense of achievement and increased confidence for participants, as well as enhancing social interaction.
I am now pleased to be involved in the planning of a follow-on project using the findings and recommendations of this evaluation, which will further enhance the evidence base for the link between creative arts and health and wellbeing.”
For further information and recommendations made as a result of the evaluation please follow this link.