In our Handbook you’ll find the descriptions of twelve “best” practices we want to share with you.
There are several reasons why we, as project partners, decided to collect them in this Handbook. One is that we believe they can help creating more inclusive theatre productions and events that are accessible to a wider range of people.
Another reason is that they can help to raise awareness of the issues that D/deaf, hard of hearing, blind and visually impaired people face in accessing and enjoying theatre, to other organisations like ours.
Being a partnership formed by different organisations with different scale, different levels of expertise in accessibility and inclusion services, and different Country situations, each of us has been able to improve by learning from the others, in very different ways. The most important thing, for all of us, has been this exchange of knowledge and experience, that enriched all of us and allowed us to achieve more than we would have by ourselves.
Most experienced organisation have been able to mainstream their services, increasing the number of blind or D/deaf spectators, but also to move forward towards an inclusive programming of Theatrical seasons, selecting Companies and performances that represent the point of view of persons with disabilities, and/or include in the cast disabled actors and directors.
Some of us have been able, thanks to the project, to experiment services they never did before, like including the D/deaf audience in a dance or music show.
Others learned, and then tried for the very first time, to audiodescribe a performance… and it went great!
All of us feel thankful and have learned a lot from the stakeholders involved at local level, that shared with us their points of view and allowed us to understand a lot more about how the very concept of disability is perceived and addressed in different Countries, and how much work all of us still have to do to build inclusive societies.
So we invite you to take (literally) a page from hour book, have a look at what we learned during this project and try to apply it, if it fits, to your organisation.
So what is a “good practice” to us? You may still wonder.
Very simple put: it’s something we didn’t know, and now know. Thanks to this project.
It’s something we didn’t know how to do… and now we do. Thanks to this project.
Most of all, it’s something we tried during the course of this project, and found out to be highly beneficial to our target groups: spectators, actors, directors, with and without disabilities.
We hope they’ll be useful to you too.
Download our Guide on Best Practices and Policies for Inclusive Theatres!
You can also download our Guide in large print version, in word format, which will work better with tools such as “Screen Readers”.
What is it?
The Creative Case for Diversity is a funding policy implemented by the British Arts Council.
Organisations funded by the Arts Council are expected to show their contribution to the Creative Case for Diversity through the work they produce, present and distribute, through their programming or collections, and by demonstrating how their work is accessible and relevant to their local communities (where applicable). The monitoring prompts for include a section on ‘Evidence for rating contribution to the Creative Case for Diversity’, assessed by the funding body thoughout the grant duration.
The policy concept behind this practice is very simple: more inclusion, more money, and vice-versa: more money (the National portfolio), more inclusion. To give you an idea, the British Arts National Portfolio for 2018-2022 is made up of 828 organisations that hold 842 funding agreements. The National Portfolio is funded by about 71,300,000 £ of National Lottery money each year.
Applying for this fund is a very competitve procedure, and having diversity between its main goals has been a great way to promote diversity and equality, releasing the true potential of British artistic and cultural talent – from every background.
Its implementation, however, requires proper and effective monitoring, and competent reviews by the Arts Council assigned Relationship manager.
What makes it a good practice?
It is a good example of:
- inclusive policy design
- innovative way of producting a theatre performance
It fully involves spectators with different needs, such as:
- Visually impaired spectators;
- D/deaf and hard of hearing spectators;
- Physically challenged spectators;
- Mentally challenged spectators.
Have a look at some case studies here: https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/diversity/creative-case-diversity