UK Cultural Organisations Join Up to Promote Seven Inclusive Principles for Disabled People in Arts and Culture

15 Sep 2020 News, Press Release

For Audio, Large Print, Easy Read, PDF and British Sign Language versions of a more

detailed account of this article, please click here.

 

Campaigning cultural organisations We Shall Not Be Removed, Ramps on the Moon,
Attitude is Everything, Paraorchestra and What Next? have joined together to create a new
guide for the arts and entertainment sectors to support disability inclusion. The New Wolsey
Theatre is proud to be a founder member of Ramps on the Moon and fully supports this
initiative.

Today we launch Seven Inclusive Principles for Arts & Cultural Organisations working
safely through COVID-19 to complement the suite of guidance documents already issued
by UK Governments and sector support organisations.

The focus of this unique initiative, which has been broadly welcomed by the sector, is to
ensure deaf, neurodiverse and disabled people are not discriminated against as creative
work begins again and as venues re-open. The Seven Principles offer practical guidance to
arts and cultural organisations to support disabled artists, audiences, visitors, participants
and employees.

The Principles highlight the importance of: legal obligations, combating ableism in the sector,
consulting directly with disabled people, comprehensive public information on Covid
measures, remapping the customer journey, engagement of disabled artists and celebrating
disability in the workforce.

 

The Seven Inclusive Principles are:

1. All organisational activities must comply with the requirements of The Equality Act
(2010) and make reasonable adjustments to operating practice that ensure disabled
people are not unlawfully discriminated against
2. All actions relating to disabled people should be undertaken in accordance with the
Social Model of Disability and aim to combat and eliminate ableism
3. Co-production with disabled people: disabled people should be consulted when
organisations develop bespoke operating or re-opening plans, and undertake
Equality Impact Assessments before making decisions
4. Organisations need to provide clear, accurate and comprehensive information about
Covid-19 measures to enable disabled artists, employees, audiences and
participants to assess their own levels of risk, and be prepared to adapt to specific
enquiries or requests
5. The customer journey for disabled audiences should be thoroughly mapped,
ensuring it is equality impact assessed, clearly communicated in multiple formats to
the public, and prioritises free companion tickets to maintain essential access
6. Disabled artists are an important cultural asset in the UK and their engagement in all
new creative projects should be prioritised
7. Organisations should ensure they celebrate diversity, embed anti-ableist principles to
support and protect disabled people, and should demonstrate due care for the
disabled workforce when making decisions about redundancy, restructuring and new
ways of working

Sarah Holmes, Chief Executive of the New Wolsey Theatre said, “ We’re
determined to act now so that the pandemic will not result in deaf and disabled artists
and audiences being further marginalised. It’s vital that as we rebuild the sector, we
keep uppermost in our minds these Seven Principles. Accessibility and inclusion is
good for everyone -and our sector will be stronger and more vibrant if we get this
right.’

The Seven Principles are applicable across all art forms and across all 4 UK nations and
come with endorsement from a wide range of leading sector bodies including: British
Council, British Film Institute, Arts Council England, Arts Council of Wales, Creative
Scotland, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Museums Association, Royal Philharmonic
Society, Equity and UK Theatre.

Andrew Miller, UK Government Disability Champion for Arts & Culture and co-founder
of #WeShallNotBeRemoved said, “Disabled people’s continued participation in culture at
all levels has been severely threatened by this pandemic. The Seven Principles offer an
essential new resource to promote an inclusive cultural recovery and to ensure the UK
remains a global leader in disability and inclusive arts through and after Covid-19”.

Michèle Taylor, Director for Change at Ramps on the Moon said, “Disabled and deaf
people play a vital role in a flourishing theatre industry, both front and back of house, and
this has become increasingly evident in the last five years. The Seven Principles will support
organisations to ensure that this trajectory continues and that theatre re-emerges even richer
and more diverse than before.”

Jonathan Harper, Chief Executive of Paraorchestra said, “Inclusivity cannot be treated
as a project that is cast aside as the cultural sector reopens following the pandemic. I
wholeheartedly welcome the Seven Principles and Paraorchestra is proud to have played its
part in creating them. This document offers context and the practical steps so that anyone
within the sector can have the confidence to ensure that disabled artists, workers and
audiences can return safely”.

Lizzie Crump, National Strategic Lead for What Next? said, “This document gives clear,
practical guidance and support to everyone working in our sector, from grassroots
community projects to large venues. It details everything from our legal obligations to the
ways we can access the right help and support. These principles give us the framework we
need to champion equity and access, and ensure the quality of our arts and culture over the
next decade”.

Jacob Adams, Head of Campaigns at Attitude is Everything said, “The arts sector is a
vital positive force in the UK, strengthened immensely by inclusive practice and the
participation of Deaf and disabled people at every level. Attitude is Everything is proud to
have joined this initiative to support the sector as we rebuild a better and more accessible
‘normal’ together.”

The full Seven Principles document is housed on all launch partners websites and can be
found here: https://www.weshallnotberemoved.com/7-principles/

Contact for enquiries: Lizzie Crump, National Strategic Lead, What Next?
lizzie@culturallearningalliance.org.uk

 

More info about the Seven Inclusive Principles launch partners:

#WeShallNotBeRemoved is the UK Disability Arts Alliance formed in May 2020. With 700
members, it aims to raise the profile for deaf, neurodiverse and disabled people in the creative
industries through and after Covid and to campaign for an inclusive cultural recovery.

Ramps on the Moon is an award-winning consortium of major producing theatres, including
the New Wolsey Theatre, “that enriches the stories we tell and the way we tell them” by
normalising the presence of Deaf and disabled people both on and off stage. The Ramps
on the Moon production of Oliver Twist was due to be staged at The New Wolsey Theatre
in May 2020 but had to be cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Paraorchestra is the world’s only large-scale integrated virtuoso ensemble of professional
disabled and non-disabled musicians, whose mission is to redefine what a 21st century
orchestra can be.

Attitude is Everything is a disability-led, ACE funded charity with 20 years of experience
supporting non-profit and commercial organisations to make festivals and music venues
more accessible and inclusive for Deaf and disabled audiences, artists, professionals and
volunteers.

What Next? is a national movement that brings together cultural freelancers and
organisations to debate and shape the future of UK arts and culture, and champions the
sector’s vital role in creating a more equitable society.

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