The Learning Diaries | Access starts online

Tips for venues to provide access information for Deaf and disabled people...

I recently went to a meeting with Attitude is Everything, an Arts Council England NPO that works to improve Deaf and disabled people’s access to live music and outdoor arts events. I was particularly interested in this meeting, as I have worked as a music facilitator with people with learning disabilities for the last six years, so this is a subject close to my heart.

Among other campaigns, such as Music Without Barriers, the organisation has published their third State of Access Report. The report provides a biennial snapshot of UK live music and outdoor event accessibility and the barriers that Deaf and disabled people continue to face at gigs and festivals. Designed to be a useful document for anyone working in the music and event industries, it is based on data sourced from 280 mystery shops of venues and festivals and an online access information survey of 386 websites. The report is filled with quotes from Deaf and disabled mystery shoppers, interesting case studies and Attitude is Everything’s best practice guidance. Despite the fact that digital has revolutionised the live music sector, a third of websites surveyed offered no access information, and less than a fifth provided information rated as ‘good’. This type of information is paramount to people with access needs, and can make all the difference when deciding to buy a ticket or not.

The publication of the report heralds the launch of the charity’s Access Starts Online campaign to encompass all UK venues and festivals. This campaign provides venues and festivals with an easy-to-follow process to create high quality access information for Deaf and disabled people, based on straightforward best practice guidance.

You can download the full report and executive summary here.