Arts Access Australia receives funding to develop a national approach to disability access and inclusion

A national Disability Access & Inclusion Code of Conduct is on the horizon, with theAustralia Council for the Arts today announcing significant fundingfor Arts Access Australia (AAA) to support the development of this Code. The funding is provided through the Council’s Re-Imagine: Sector Recovery Initiatives program, and will help AAA deliver comprehensive, national stakeholder engagement and public consultations that will underpin the development of the Code.

AAA CEO Matthew Hall said the funding made it possible to involve all stakeholders in the Code via public consultations delivered throughout the country and online.

“This funding allows us to undertake the critical step of working with arts and cultural organisations, artists, arts workers and audiences with disability across the country to co-design a national self-regulatory voluntary Code of Conduct for disability inclusivity, accessibility and equity for the Australian arts sector,” Hall said. “By developing the code in this manner, we will create a harmonised and transparent framework with full agency of people with disability.”

The consultations will explore reasonable expectations for community standards of disability access and inclusion; the best ways to imbed awareness, education and accountability; and effective ways for the Code to be readily integrated into organisations’ existing operations and processes.

“This national Code of Conduct is an integral part of AAA’s plans – in collaboration with, and the agency of, the disability community and the arts sector – to strengthen and secure the future of a vibrant, diverse, accessible and equitable Australian arts and cultural sector,” Hall said.

“We are very grateful the Australia Council for the Arts recognised the need for Australia’s arts and culture future to include artists, arts workers and audiences with disability, and chose to fund this important project.”

The Australia Council’s Re-imagine: Sector Recovery Initiatives are a direct response to disruptions and challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, with investment supporting Australia’s cultural and creative industries to re-imagine practice and operations and provide needed resources and time to test ideas and models for a more resilient, equitable and thriving future.

The Re-imagine: Sector Recovery Initiatives are generously supported by the Sidney Myer Fund.

About Arts Access Australia

Arts Access Australia is the disability-led, national peak body for arts and disability. We increase equitable access and opportunities for artists, arts workers, participants and audiences with disability in Australian arts and culture. We do this through systemic advocacy, sector development and representation, and providing information. Created by an alliance of leading arts and disability organisations, we are a member-based organisation. The majority of our combined national representation include individual artists with disability who are forging a career in the arts or making art through creative community connections. We value all types of participation in the arts and we are committed to promoting the value of the arts for people with disability for employment, enterprise, social inclusion, cultural identity, health and wellbeing outcomes. We are also committed to breaking down the barriers to participation in the arts.

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