Improving access to arts for audiences and artists with disabilities

Improving access to arts for audiences and artists with disabilities

By Jo Verrent


This long and honest report evaluates the experience of the NorDAF projects as part of New Audiences, looking at barriers to the arts for disabled people, with Theatre Royal Newcastle, Tyne and Wear Museums, Northern Gallery of Contemporary Arts, Northern Print Studios. This case study has lessons equally on how to set up and run such projects, which arts markets may find useful in a climate of increased collaborative working.

Principal outcomes 

• formation of an ‘access club’ based on idea from London theatre to solve some of the problems re communication and information (and data protection)

• made changes to format of the brochure to make it more accessible (following clear print guidelines)

• possibility to ensure rehearsal room fulfils refuge criteria - if this can be made a refuge point the theatre could have more disabled people in for activities • updated access information provided by theatre

“we knew lots of information about the building that we took for granted that people knew outside of the building. When Clarence came in with a fresh pair of eyes he was able to say ‘I didn’t know a wheelchair user could get into Cafe 100, I didn’t know there was access via a lift to the bar’. We’ve been able to update our marketing information and all of that information now is in the access policy and guide”

Resource type: Case studies | Published: 2013