Arts for All: Accessible Arts Experience for Children with Special Needs

by Dr. Jessie Voigts /
Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
Mar 31, 2015 / 0 comments

Free Family Fun Day on Saturday, April 4th 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum Florida International University

The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU invites all families, especially children with special needs, to All Kids Included – Arts for All, an  Accessible Arts Experience. The community art-happening is free and open to the public on Saturday, April 4 from 10am – 2pm.


Arts for All: Accessible Arts Experience for Children with Special Needs


The family fun day, led by Zot Artz, opens up a whole new world of inclusive art-making with specially designed attachments for wheelchairs and other art-making adaptive tools created  for children with cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, spina bifida, and other disabilities to help them  develop motor skills, concentration, social interaction and self esteem.  Families will create life-changing, experiential artworks in playful environments.  The event is co-sponsored by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and All Kids Included. The Frost Art Museum is located at Florida International University, 10975 S.W. 17 Street and is a cultural destination with a community-focused mission to educate and enlighten as part of FIU’s Live the Arts program. 



Free Family Fun Day  (Saturday, April 4, 10am-2pm)

At this inclusive and interactive painting and printmaking experience, parents will be able to create and play along with their kids using adaptive art tools created by acclaimed artist and inventor Dwayne Szot. Mr. Szot has been invited to Miami to facilitate the activities, with his innovative assistive technologies that provide one-of-a-kind creative expression through arts and mobility (such as wheelchairs with attachments for painting on large-scale blank canvases that fill up the entire floor and walls of specially designed rooms). 


Arts for All: Accessible Arts Experience for Children with Special Needs


Children of all abilities and ages can stamp, draw, and print to make their mark.  It's all play, but they learn, explore, and develop skills while having fun together. All tools and materials for kids to use at the event are free for the day, and include fun experiences such as  the Super Squirt (a switch-activated liquid paintbrush that attaches to wheelchairs and propels paint 10-15 feet in front of the user onto giant murals on the floor and the walls), the Art Roller (enabling kids to roll paint through an enormous field of color), the Pogo Paint Poles, and the Chalk Walk and Roll.


Arts for All: Accessible Arts Experience for Children with Special Needs


“The Frost Art Museum seeks to build its legacy of education and community outreach with this magical event for families and children with special needs, especially on the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),” said the museum’s Director, Dr. Jordana Pomeroy.  “All year long, our education programs are designed to nurture and increase each participant's knowledge of art, honoring our mission to serve art lovers of all ages, means and backgrounds including the culturally diverse FIU community, residents and visitors.”


Dwayne Szot and Zot Artz

Dwayne Szot grew up in a midwestern foster home with a foster brother and sister who had cerebral palsy.  Other children and adults with disabilities lived in the home, and Szot observed and respected the special challenges they faced.  He credits that experience for giving him the courage and motivation to create the “painting wheelchair,” one of Zot Artz’ most popular art tools, to help children with disabilities create art. Originally, as an artist and engineer, he designed and built machines that he used to apply color to huge surfaces including building walls, roofs, and even a frozen lake. Having studied how a machine could extend his own ability to make a mark, and remembering his foster siblings’ struggles, Szot was inspired to create a mechanical device that would serve to also extend a disabled person’s ability to make a mark.  He has worked with special education departments, hospitals, and residential facilities. He founded Zot Artz to create adaptive art tools and make them available to teachers, therapists, residential providers, hospitals, parks, and other facilities. Szot also facilitates art experiences nationwide using his inventions.


Arts for All: Accessible Arts Experience for Children with Special Needs


Workshop for Educators (Friday, April 3, 8:30am-4pm)

This event is a training session for educators, therapists, artists, and community service personnel. (Registration required in advance/not open to the general public.) This workshop provides techniques and strategies that are inclusive for social-emotional, artistic and academic implementation. There will be segments on accommodation/modification of techniques to adapt content for children and youth with disabilities.  The workshop will feature Zot Artz and Jeff Deen’s Drumming for Wellness.  For more information/to register, contact Dia Carter Webb at Arts for Learning: 305-576-1212 or dia[at]


Arts for All: Accessible Arts Experience for Children with Special Needs


About the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University                                            

The Frost Art Museum opened its current 46,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art building in November 2008. Admission to the museum is always free. The Frost is an American Alliance of Museums accredited museum and Smithsonian Affiliate, and is located at 10975 SW 17thStreet, across from the Blue Garage and adjacent to the Wertheim Performing Arts Center on the Modesto A. Maidique Campus. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday noon-5 p.m. Closed on Mondays and most legal holidays  (305-348-2890,,,


About FIU

Florida International University is recognized as a Carnegie engaged university. Its colleges and schools offer more than 180 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral programs in fields such as engineering, international relations, architecture, law and medicine. As one of South Florida’s anchor institutions, FIU is Worlds Ahead in its local and global engagement, finding solutions to the most challenging problems of our time. FIU emphasizes research as a major component of its mission. FIU has awarded 200,000 degrees and enrolls 50,000 students in two campuses and three centers including FIU Downtown on Brickell and the Miami Beach Urban Studios. FIU is a member of Conference USA and has 400 student-athletes participating in 18 sports. For more information about FIU, visit




All information and photos contained herein provided by The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU