University of Atypical’s Digital Horizon Masterclasses – 12 and 18 May, 2, 15 and 23 June

New digital tech masterclasses improve career prospects for d/Deaf, disabled and neurodiverse artists in Northern Ireland.

University of Atypical’s ambitious Digital Horizon project led by disabled artists for disabled artists is delivering top-quality digital technology masterclasses this summer.

Digital Horizon offers five new disabled-led masterclasses for d/Deaf, disabled and neurodiverse artists to empower others to use technology to further their careers.

  • All masterclasses are free to attend but there are limited places in each and bookings are currently being taken.
  • They run from May 12 to June 23 at the UofA Ledger Studio in Royal Avenue in Belfast.

This professional development programme is part of the three year Digital Horizon initiative funded by the Santander Foundation’s Financial & Digital Empowerment Fund.

Masterclass topics include creating digital artwork, producing electronic promotional press kits, the use of motion sensors in live performance, professional sound recording and an introduction to British Sign Language (BSL) presentation.

Edel Murphy, Head of Business Administration added: “We welcome artists and creative people to sign up for one of these fantastic masterclasses or indeed apply to lead the next series of masterclasses to be programmed in 2023.”

The principal funder of the University of Atypical is the Arts Council of Northern Ireland.

Patricia Lavery, Head of Community Arts and Education, Arts Council of Northern Ireland said: “The Arts Council of Northern is committed to supporting meaningful opportunities for d/Deaf, disabled and neurodiverse artists to develop their professional, artistic careers. We are delighted to support the University of Atypical and their impressive Digital Horizon programme which helps to strengthen the Disability Arts sector in the region and enable our disabled artists to learn new skills from experts in the use of emerging digital technologies when creating artwork.”


Email to book.

Detailed description of each Masterclass is below.


Friday, May 12 – Digital Painting and Mood-boards

using the digital illustration app Procreate, run by award-winning artist Joel Simon, a professional visual artist based in Belfast. Joel, who is an amputee, has work spanning many visual mediums including painting, animation and film.

This Masterclass is suitable for practitioners of all visual arts and is aimed at artists who want to develop their knowledge in using technology in visual creations. They will learn how to create digital artwork, mood-boards and colour studies using Procreate.


Thursday, May 18 – Create Your Own Digital Press Pack

and is led by Kris Marsden an accomplished songwriter and musician who has toured with Pete Doherty. Much of his work is based on personal experience of mental health issues and he has organised gigs to raise funds for World Mental Health Day.

Kris’s masterclass is suitable for any art form and will show artists how to plan and develop their own professional press packs or EPKs (Electronic Press Kits) including writing your own short biography, selecting and editing images and logos, including reviews.


Friday, June 2 – Motion Sensors in Performance

run by Ben Glover, who is deaf and Stephen Bailey, who is autistic and disabled. They run London-based ASYLUM Arts, which is dedicated to improving neurodivergent and disabled representation in the arts.

Participants will learn how new motion sensor technology can be used in creative performance. This masterclass will be of interest to people who work in the theatre or performance. It is also relevant to those interested in sensory disabilities, as the technology was created originally as an access tool.


Thursday, June 15 – Sound like a Pro

with Peter Fleming, a stroke survivor, musician, songwriter and owner of his own recording studio, White Mountain Music in Maghera.

Those taking part will learn how to use recording software, how to record a vocal or an instrument with a microphone or a mini keyboard, how to mix what is recorded, and how to use a free mastering website to create their own mastered track for podcast or music.


Friday June 23 – What Makes an Excellent BSL Presenter and Broadcaster

with Paula Clarke, a deaf artist, performer and tutor, who works as a BSL broadcaster on the BBC.

In this masterclass, participants will learn presentation and interviewing skills, and gain knowledge from examples and highlights of Paula’s career. They will be given the opportunity to practise what they learn and even possibly create their own BSL broadcast for social media.

artist forms link
New Belfast Community Arts Initiative trading as Community Arts Partnership is a registered charity (XR 36570) and a company limited by guarantee (Northern Ireland NI 37645).Registered with The Charity Commission as New Belfast Community Arts Initiative - NIC105169.