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Accessible Arts thirty years anniversary logo

Welcome to our July 2016 newsletter.

Accessible Arts would like to congratulate Mr. Colin Allen who was recently appointed the Chair of the International Disability Alliance (IDA), from Australia.  Colin Allen is a leading advocate for persons with disabilities globally, including as President of the World Federation of the Deaf since 2011. IDA is an alliance of alliances. They work with their members to empower persons with disabilities through the United Nations.

Those of you in NSW who would like to be part of the FACS Digital Accessibility User Network, FACS would like to hear from you. The Information Access Group is working with FACS to establish the Digital Accessibility User Network – this is a group of people who will meet regularly (usually once a month) to discuss web accessibility and to support FACS as they make changes to their online offering. If you are interested in taking part, apply via the FACS website.

As the NDIS begins to ramp up in Australia an interesting article has just been published discussing how the NDIS views music therapy. It is still unclear how music therapy will be funded under the NDIS, and while the spokesman said funding for music therapy would be assessed on a case-by-case basis, anecdotal reports suggest assessment for funding varies greatly between regions, rather than individual cases Read the full article online here. 

Lastly, if you use emojis you will be pleased to learn that Scope UK released a new set of 18 emojis featuring people with disabilities. Read the article onlline at the Scope website.

headshots of emma hawkins, morwenna collett and goldele rayment in black and white

Arts Activated 2016 Full Program Announced

The premiere biennial arts and disability conference in Australia, ‘Arts Activated’ showcases the accomplishments of people with disability, as leaders, arts practitioners, audience and advocates, alongside best practice initiatives from the arts and cultural industry.

It has established itself as the must attend event for those interested in innovative practice and inclusive arts and disability programs.

The conference fills the gap in the exchange of knowledge and ideas within the arts and disability sector, both nationally and internationally. As the leading conference in Australia dedicated to arts and disability, the event offers a unique opportunity for professionals to come together, share ideas and create stronger partnerships, whilst being inspired by a diverse range of nationally and internationally recognised experts in the fields.

Across a two-day event, the conference provides the perfect opportunity to explore, debate, and connect to future pathways for people with disability relating to accessible arts practice.

View or Download the Full 2016 Program Announcement online at the Arts Activated website.

Other conference news: There is also a range of sponsorship options available that will provide strong branding and exposure in a focused, professional creative environment. Visit the Arts Activated website for full Sponsorship Prospectus details.

Image of Access banner and people sitting in a room in a lecture style environment

Disability Awareness Training 18 August 2016 BOOK NOW

Accessible Arts offers four open sessions per year in disability awareness training for managers, policy makers, frontline staff, cultural advisers, small businesses, and creative practitioners. 

The information and skill development gained from this training is crucial for effective delivery of arts strategy, arts and culture programmes, festival events and quality customer service. We offer practical and innovative solutions to give you the confidence to welcome people with disability to your venue, provide inclusive experiences and make accessibility a natural and integrated part of what you do.

Each session is four hours and covers

  • Defining disability – legally and culturally
  • The rumours and realities of the disability experience
  • Communicating with respect and confidence
  • Access barriers and creative solutions

The benefit of these disability awareness training workshops include networking, sharing and learning from the diverse experience in the room.

Register online here or direct enquiries to Sarah Houbolt, Strategic Projects Manager, by email shoubolt@aarts.net.au or by phone on +61 2 9251 6499 extension 107.

banner image of spanish woman using readit air assistive technology at state library

Accessiblity for CALD communities at the NSW State Library

The State Library is committed to providing equitable access to the Library’s collections, buildings, exhibitions, events and resources for all.

Readit Air is an automatic reader that enables instant access to printed documents by converting them to large print and text-to-speech output in over 15 languages.  It is designed to help people with vision impairment and those who have trouble reading.  It works by automatically  scanning a document and identifying the language.  Documents are then captured and read back in a natural voice in just 2-3 seconds.

Documents can be imported or exported as a PDF, Word file, email or MP3 file and can be read directly in Readit.

Readit Air is clear and easy to understand and can read seventeen different languages. The full list can be found online at the State Library of NSW website.

Donate to Accessible Arts 

NSW Health and the Arts

NSW health and the arts framework logo

The state’s first Health and the Arts Framework was launched last week at the Art Gallery of NSW by Health Minister Jillian Skinner. The framework is intended to guide the integration of the arts into the NSW health care system by supporting collaboration between local health services and the arts sector.

Mrs Skinner said “I am excited about the Framework because it will ensure that NSW continues to lead the way in using the arts to improve the health of our rural, regional and metropolitan communities." 

Along with the Framework, Mrs Skinner introduced NSW’s first Health and The Arts Exchange – an online portal for contemporary arts, health information and activities in local communities. “The Exchange includes a wealth of information from across NSW and internationally and is designed to support a dynamic, world-class music, arts and health services community,” she said.

Mrs Skinner also announced an additional $500,000 in dedicated funding for local health districts and specialty health networks to create health and arts projects.

Full article can be found and read online at Museum and Galleries website.

Professional Development 

Murmuration Dance Theatre workshop with participants in a room dancing

Engaging Students with Disability at the Museum of Contemporary Arts is running again in 2016.

Discover how dance, music, theatre and visual arts can unlock your students’ learning. This two-day forum offers teachers, families and artists practical ways to build creative skills, exchange ideas and share inspiration to embed creative arts learning in classroom practice.

Participate in creative arts workshops and meet key leaders in the arts and disability network. Presented in partnership with the Sydney Opera House.

Program Details


Friday 5 and Saturday 6 August 2016


Early Bird $260/$150

Standard $295/$175

Pre-Service/casual teachers $250/$135 (two-days/one-day)

Bookings and further information

Visit the Sydney Opera House website or call + 61 2 9250 7770

[Image: Murmuration workshop, Engaging Students with Disability Forum, 2015. Photograph: Daniel Boud.]

Featured Artists

Image of young woman smiling and sitting in a wheelchair

Accessible Arts is excited to see the Central West ARI, the Artshed moving full steam ahead as part of Accessible Arts Artist Run Initiative Project!

Artshed is engaging with a number of exciting artist professional development opportunities in collaboration with Arts OutWest. 

Regional Arts Development Officer (RADO) Tracey Callinan will be leading a Portfolio Building Workshop with the Artshed artists at Charles Sturt University, in order to enhance the professional presentation skills of artists with disability. 

Artshed will also be participating in NAVA’s Professional Development Workshop ‘The grant to the press release’ at Bathurst Regional Art Gallery.

Look out for more to come from the Artshed, as an exhibition is brewing in the background.

This initiative supports the autonomy of nine artist run initiatives, for artists with and without disability, in their local communities across NSW.

Events and Opportunities | Submit to Accessible Arts What's On

Festival of Dangerous Ideas

Festival of Dangerous ideas logo

I was a Human Guinea Pig

Living with Asperger’s, John Elder Robison had come to terms with the way he was different, riding life’s ups and downs. But what if it was possible to unlock the emotional insight that we assume is ‘missing’ in people living with Asperger’s – if only you undertook an experimental brain therapy? 

Would it fix everything or create a whole set of new problems to be solved? 

John Elder Robison is the author of Look Me In The Eye, Be Different: Adventures of a Free Range Aspergian and Switched On. He is also a speaker and advocate for people with Asperger’s and other forms of autism, runs a specialist automotive repair service and used to design special effects guitars for the band KISS.

This event will be Live Captioned on 4 September at 12.15pm

Visit the event page at the Sydney Opera House.

Tactile Tour of Wicked

image of wicked promotion white text on black background

Prepare to spellbound!

Packemin Productions and Riverside Theatres will be defying gravity in their upcoming production of Wicked in July/August 2016.

Wicked tells the incredible untold story of the witches of Oz. 

Long before Dorothy dropped in, two other girls meet in the land of Oz and formed an unlikely but profound friendship: the blonde and very popular Glinda and a misunderstood green girl named Elphaba.

Their extraordinary adventures in Oz will test their friendship to the limit and ultimately see them fulfil their destinies as Glinda The Good and the Wicked Witch of the West.

To book visit Riverside Theatre website.

Auslan presentation: Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera

Image of a frida kahlo self portrait

For Deaf and hearing-impaired visitors with Danni Wright

Immerse yourself in the life, love and art of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera through selected artworks and iconic photographs in the exhibition Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera: from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection.

This presentation and discussion is in Auslan for deaf and hearing-impaired visitors. Full details on the Art Gallery of NSW website.

When: Sunday 31 July 2016, 1.30pm

Free and no bookings required.

Where: Centenary Auditorium, Art Gallery of NSW

To request assisted access for individuals or groups with specific requirements, phone: 02 9225 1740 or email pp@ag.nsw.gov.au

Featured arts + disability videos

Image of Sofya Gollan standing in front a black wall smiling

View Sofya Gollan's, Deaf Arts Officer, Auslan interpretation of the newsletter.

Stay up-to-date with our Deaf Arts News by joining the Deaf Arts Facebook Group.

image of hands with clay moulding a small bowl on a potters wheel

Accessible Arts presented the Arts Activated 2014 Conference on Tuesday 28 – Wednesday 29 October, at The Concourse, Chatswood, Sydney.

People with disability have an important role to play in Australia’s arts and cultural life. Arts Activated 2014 provided a valuable meeting place for leaders to consider past experience and future aspirations, of the arts and disability sector.

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