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Accessing the Arts Collectively

Watch Maysoon Zayid's TED talk on authentic casting

Screenshot of Maysoon Zayid Ted Talk page she is sitting on a stool

Access at Sydney Festival 2016

Free Auslan tours Opera House

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Sydney Philharmonia Choir Logo and Deaf Arts Logo

"We welcome all visitors to Sydney Festival events and make every effort to ensure the program is accessible to our whole audience."

The 2016 Sydney Festival program again delivers concerts, opera, installations, theatre and dance to audiences with disability in multiple alternative formats. 

Visit the Festival Access and Inclusion webpage for full information about what's on this season.

Are you attending Handel: Messiah performed in Auslan at Sydney Opera House?

If so, Auslan Stage Left is offering free 30min Auslan interpreted tours of the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall and surrounds, prior to the performance.  Bookings are essential and places are limited. To register and receive more details please email

To buy tickets please visit the Sydney Opera House event listing.

End of the Year Disability Awareness Training | Thursday 19 November

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"Disability Awareness Training is the critical link between wanting to be more accessible and making that a reality". [Amanda Tink, Training Consultant]

Join Accessible Arts on Thursday 19 November to gain a practical understanding of disability in society.

This "not the usual tick the box training" is relevant to participants working at any level of an arts organisation, arts practice or social policy. [City of Sydney]

To book or find out more information please contact Sarah Houbolt, Access and Training Project Manager, by email or visit the Accessible Arts Training webpage.

Sarah's Say - A healthy question about inclusion

Headshot of Sarah HouboltIt strikes me, as I arrive back into the Australian context from years as a practicing artist abroad, that inclusion as a word is used a lot here. It is now in the title of our action plans, marketing, funding applications, and used within the art making space. Artists with disability in Australia have traditionally advocated for it, families have fought for it, and arts organisations develop inclusive programmes. But what does the word mean and who does it serve? 

Recently I had the pleasure of watching Gerard O’Dwyer in 'The Interviewer' and Daniel Monks in 'The Wonderful World of Dissocia'. These actors were cleverly cast, demonstrated skill and made a memorable contribution to the creative product. 

I have been wondering for a while if it is more progressive to talk about contribution rather than inclusion, especially in the art making space. As an artist and project manager with disability, I know that I would much prefer my contributions to be valued and my access needs met, rather than being merely something to be passively included. Then we can let go of the connotations of exclusion, to have a conversation that starts with, “in order for me to contribute, this is what I need”.

Reach Sarah Houbolt, Access and Training Project Manager by email:

Action Stations

Auslan gallery tours

Access All Areas 2015

Image of man holding binoculars to his eyes
Art Gallery of NSW black and white logo
Papers Planes film young boy holding a green plane

Action Stations is an exciting new way for you to experience the compelling history of the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).

Explore the danger and drama of military life at sea through a hi-tech and immersive journey that shows the inner workings of the Navy like never before.

The Museum is committed to making Action Stations experience accessible to all audiences. Full access information can be found online at the Musuem website.

For deaf and hearing-impaired visitors

Take an Auslan tour of The Greats: masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland.

Auslan tour: The Greats

Come and hear comedian Hannah Gadsby talk about the great eras of Western art history. 

Celebrity talks: The Great Gadsby

Each year Access All Areas Film Festival hosts FREE accessible screenings in cinemas in Sydney and Western Sydney. 

Venues have the option to screen a feature, this year Paper Planes and a programme of family friendly Australian short films. 

Visit the Festival website for full listing and venue information.

Watch John Wilson at the Tate Gallery discuss presenting to a Deaf audience 

Image of a head of a gold statue in a gallery setting