And so 2012 was a huge year for Deaf and disability arts and hopefully awareness of access, and in particular the social model of disability, reached a little bit further into the mainstream consciousness? After watching all those disabled athletes, and performers in the ceremonies, was there a shift in understanding as to why meeting access requirements is a rights issue rather than kind of nice to have?
Here at GDF we try our best to provide as much access provision as possible at our festivals and realise that innovation is always necessary to push best practice forwards, especially for outdoor work. As such the conversation around access is one that will go on until we perfect provision, which is probably never!
Over the last couple months other organisations have been taking this debate further and some of the key events that have caught our eye have included:
Attitude Is Everything have been major partners with us for many years. They are the experts in access and outdoor festivals and have a club night coming up with some great bands on 26th March in Shoreditch, London.
Drake Music in turn are experts in making music accessible and particularly in regard to assistive technology. They have an event on 7th March in conjunction with Shape Arts at their amazing pop-up gallery in the City. The focus will be on how do we as disabled Artist/Musicians, living in London, connect and collaborate and make music more accessible?
VocalEyes and STAGETEXT have recently created an online toolkit about assisted performances specifically aimed at theatre staff. Coming from leaders in the fields of captioning and audio description it is well worth a look. www.accessibletheatre.org.uk
It is also really encouraging that Devoted &Disgruntled, working with the Unicorn Theatre and Lisa Hammond, put on a two day open space conference back in January looking at creative and physical access in the theatre world.
Reports can be found here.
Also, for your reference if you haven’t seen it yet check out ISAN’s 2009 Access Toolkit
Chas de Swiet
Associate Producer GDIF