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Master’s Thesis about the opportunities of disabled and Deaf artists published

Outi Salonlahti studied in her Master’s Thesis, what kind of opportunities disabled and Deaf artists have. The qualitative research ”I have to be always 200 % better”. The opportunities and artist paths of disabled and Deaf artists examines the equality of Finnish art field from the perspective of disability and Deafness.

The research data has two parts, first, life stories of disabled and Deaf artists collected for this study, followed by the artist archive of DuvTeatern. There are 21 participants in this study. 

The data revealed different themes related to for example education, work and livelihood and family. Additionally, childhood hobbies of the artists, attitudes and prejudices they faced, their participation in disability political action and disability organisations, and significance of gender were explored. The artist paths were categorised to three types: typical artist path, ”special” artist path and becoming impaired pushes one to artistry. 

The results of the study showed that many disabled and deaf artists face many challenges and discrimination during their artist paths. For example, the accessibility of art field, ableist attitudes and prejudices, education system and services provided for the disabled and Deaf people altogether influence their possibilities. Therefore, evidence from this study suggests that the art field in Finland may not be equal.

The thesis is in Finnish, but includes an abstract in English.

”I have to be always 200 % better” (PDF)

”I have to be always 200 % better” (DOCX)

The permanent address of the thesis

Abstract in Finnish Sign Language on YouTube

More information:

Outi Salonlahti


+358 40 963 9908

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