Vantage Point.Virtuosity [art projects] : Changing Winds

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How do you see disability? Student designers at CATEA produced these artworks to illustrate in a positive light that a disability provides a person with a different set of tools to use in navigating this world. If you have any questions about the artwork, please Contact Us.

Changing Winds: Learning Disabilities and Assistive Technology


Mark Thibadeau


Electronic Media
Black and White

Note from Artist

People with learning disabilities often face much bigger challenges on a daily basis than many of us could cope with, especially in their abilities to read and write. In the sky behind the person we see a clearing storm of unorganized letters. The light coming through the clouds is assistive technology - in this case taking the form of a highlighter bar. I chose to use black and white to symbolize the stark contrast between having and not having AT, and so that the rest of us can clearly see the difference.

Description of Art Work

In the foreground there the back of a man’s head and shoulders. His shirt is black and his head white, silhouetted against a dark sky. At first glance the figure seems blurry, but is actually lightly outlined, which is offset in several directions.

The sky is moody and dark, remembering a recent storm. There is a field of distorted letters that the man appears to be looking at. The letters are backwards, upside down, blurred and smudged. In the middle of the print is a black bar that appears to be emerging from a bright spot in the sky. The bar makes sense of the letters and reads, “the light at the end of the…” and stops.

Symbolically, the bar is Assistive Technology that is helping to clear the storm of jumbled letters and numbers. We see the world as the man with the learning disability does, through his eyes. Ultimately we come to realize his struggle and his triumph.