Theatre News: Disability Groups Fight To Protect Accessibility Post-COVID

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Twelve prominent disability organisations have united to form an informal alliance and pen an open letter urging various sectors to continue prioritising accessibility after Coronavirus. 

Named the Audience Access Alliance, their letter seeks to remind the arts, culture, sports and heritage sectors to remain inclusive to disabled audiences both currently with online or distanced events, and post-Covid. 

This public address coincides with the 10th anniversary of the Equality Act. The act has helped see significant rises in the number of disabled people engaging with arts and culture. In 2019, 76% of deaf, disabled and neurodivergent people participated in arts events – similar to the 77% of able-bodied people. 

“We can enable you to consult with deaf and disabled audiences, ensure that the gains we have jointly made are not lost, and help secure the widest possible audiences to support you in the difficult times ahead,” reads part of the plea from the AAA. 

After months of shielding for many, disabled people may be among the first back through doors of venues and heritage sites. The AAA will be fighting to ensure that a return to normality and the events we love includes essential access for all people. 

Words by Laura Mehers.


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