Invisible Touch

,
Past
  • Free
  • Festival
  • Wheelchair friendly
  • Relaxed
A colourful digital drawing of Jess Thom, a white woman with short curly hair in her blue wheelchair wearing pink fingerless gloves and a black jumper with stars on. She is speaking into a standing microphone to an audience in Wellcome Collection’s Reading Room. Next to her is a BSL interpreter who is communicating in sign language to the audience. People in the audience are smiling and listening to the talk, some are wearing masks. Some people are standing, others are seated on chairs and large cushions. Behind them on the gallery wall are colourful framed illustrations of colourful waving hands, and a pink spherical object.
Invisible Touch, 2022. © Jess Thom for Wellcome Collection.

About the event

Invisible Touch was an opportunity to reflect on the relationship between touch and care. You can explore images, audio, and touch diaries that share disabled and neurodivergent people’s experiences of receiving and giving care. Invisible Touch centred the knowledge of those of us who draw on care and revealed the many roles touch plays in our lives.

Jess Thom of Touretteshero hosts Invisible Touch, which is the final event in the Feeling Our Way series.

As a disabled person who requires constant support, I get touched a lot. I’m lifted, washed, squeezed, pushed, soothed, and sometimes restrained. Physical support plays a central role in my life, but this type of touch is often invisible, either because it’s routine and gets overlooked, or because it’s so unfamiliar that it doesn’t get considered at all.

Jess Thom

Visual story and easy-read description

Online resources and activities

Explore the Invisible Touch Trail online via infographic-style touch diaries and portraits. These were created by five disabled and neurodivergent collaborators. Their experiences of giving and receiving care draw attention to the complexities and possibilities of care in new ways.

Download and use the Drawn to Touch activity sheet to inspire you to think about how touch and care are important to you. 

Download and use the Feeling Our Way activity book to explore your relationship with touch.

Use the live-scribed illustration created by artist Amber Anderson to reflect on some of the topics, statements and questions from the Talking Touch discussion.

Dates

,
Past

Events

Saturday 16 July 2022

  • Installation
Invisible Touch Trail

Reading Room

Explore touch diaries, audio and images created by five disabled and/or neurodivergent collaborators. Their experiences of giving and receiving care draw attention to the complexities and possibilities of care in new ways.
  • Relaxed
  • Wheelchair friendly

  • Workshop
Drawn to Touch

Reading Room

Explore your experiences of touch and care using the Drawn to Touch activity sheet. Draw an experience of touch that is significant to you based on the Touch Diaries.
  • Relaxed
  • Wheelchair friendly

  • Walking tour
Invisible Touch Trail Audio-described Tour

Reading Room

Take an audio described tour of the images and diaries in the Invisible Touch Trail with a member of Wellcome Collection’s Visitor Experience Team.
  • Audio described
  • Wheelchair friendly
  • Relaxed

  • Discussion
Talking Touch

Reading Room

Join a discussion with Jess Thom and panellists about the complex and often invisible role that touch plays in their lives and work. This talk will unapologetically centre disabled and neurodivergent perspectives. You can ask questions and contribute, or just follow the conversation.
  • Relaxed
  • Wheelchair friendly
  • Speech-to-text
  • Live scribed

  • Chill out
Chill-Out Room

Viewing Room

Any time during the day that you want to find a space away from the programme of activities, you can come to the Chill-Out Room to lie down or relax. There will be low lighting, comfortable seating, cushions and mats throughout the room. Make use of ear defenders, earplugs, board games and sensory toys.
  • Wheelchair friendly
  • Relaxed

Need to know

Location

This is a large-scale event with several different activities. Check specific sub-events for their locations.

Drop in

Just turn up to this event. It's likely to have room for everyone.

Wheelchair friendly

This event is wheelchair friendly, which means that it has been actively designed for participation by people who use wheelchairs.

Relaxed

This is a relaxed event, which means that if you need to, you are welcome to move around and make noise at any time.

If you have any queries about accessibility, please email us at access@wellcomecollection.org or call 0 2 0. 7 6 1 1. 2 2 2 2

Our event terms and conditions

About your host

Jess Thom

(she/her)

Artist, activist and part-time superhero, Jess Thom co-founded Touretteshero in 2010 as a creative response to her experience of living with Tourette’s syndrome. She has written in the mainstream and disability press, including the Guardian, the Observer and Disability Now, and has been a Wellcome Trust Engagement Fellow.