Press Release: Artist Myles de Bastion Bridges the Accessibility Gap in 3D Online Environments

March 02, 2021

Artist Myles de Bastion Bridges the Accessibility Gap in 3D Online Environments

In ‘Virtual Worlds Made Accessible Beyond Sound’ the artist debuts the first virtual reality application to incorporate 360-degree captioning and sign language

'Virtual Worlds Made Accessible Beyond Sound' Live Stream 
Friday, March 19, 2021
3PM - 4PM PT

PORTLAND, ORE. – March 2, 2021 – Deaf visual sound artist Myles de Bastion invites the public to take a glimpse into the future of communicating beyond sound with a new virtual reality project, made as part of his New Media Fellowship residency at Open Signal. 

Virtual Worlds Made Accessible Beyond Sound innovates in response to the lack of accessible technology in a world that increasingly relies on virtual spaces to interact in real time. During this period of transition to online living brought on by social distancing, accessibility is often an after-thought — especially for those who do not hear. The project is the first VR application to use 360-degree captioning and sign language, and will be released for Oculus Quest once initial development is complete. 

This project aims to solve some of the expected (and unexpected) challenges of incorporating live captioning in virtual reality environments. The design will be shared publicly in hopes that more developers incorporate accessibility into their own applications. Virtual Worlds Made Accessible Beyond Sound was designed by de Bastion and Genia Penksik, a UK-based software developer and engineer, with mentorship from Sonya Neunzert, and in collaboration with the W3R XR Captioning Workgroup and CymaSpace

Open Signal’s New Media Fellowship supports Portland-based artists in the deep exploration of the artistic, technical and social implications of immersive technologies. The residency includes an intensive four-month mentorship with local media arts innovators, as well as full access to the resources at Open Signal, including a large technology library, immersive media, production studios and staff support.  

Mentor Sonya Neunzert says, "One of the most interesting things to me about immersive tech is seeing people who actively define the norms and protocols in these new kinds of media that are still basically being invented. Myles is leading the way in defining accessibility as a norm by developing these tools to create more inclusive virtual worlds." 

De Bastion will premiere this work with a video showcasing how captioning and sign language are incorporated into 3D virtual environments, followed by a discussion on the development of the project and an open floor for questions from the community. This event will stream live on Friday, March 19 from 3pm to 4pm on Open Signal’s digital network, and will be presented in ASL with voice interpretation. 

The New Media Fellowship is made possible with support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Jackson Foundation and the Regional Arts and Culture Council.


Daniela Karina Serna, Programs and Communications Manager
Open Signal
daniela [at]
(503) 288 - 1515 x 931

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