Accessible Arts is the peak arts and disability organisation in New South Wales.
Established in 1986, we work with and for our community to accelerate and celebrate the diverse professional, cultural and social impacts of arts and disability in NSW.
We advance the rights of, and opportunities for, people with disability or who are d/Deaf to develop and sustain professional careers in the arts and have equitable access to arts and culture across NSW.
Equity and excellence in arts, culture and disability
- Equity | Excellence | Diversity | Creativity | Partnership
Our Programs & Services
We provide a range of programs and services which focus on career advancement, audience development and community engagement for arts practitioners and audiences with disability. These include:
- Creative initiatives
- Internships, mentorships and artist residencies
- Professional development workshops
- Leadership development programs
- Industry education and advocacy
- Community and industry forums
- Networking events
- Advisory services
- People: Arts practitioners with disability | Audiences with disability | Families and friends of people with disability
- Arts & Culture: Arts companies | Cultural organisations and venues | Festival and event producers
- Disability: Disability organisation | NDIS | Carers and support workers
- Government: NSW Government | Local governments | Government agencies and policymakers
- Education: Universities | Vocational and training organisations | Researchers
For over 30 years, Accessible Arts has been a leading force in shaping and advancing the intersection of arts, culture and disability in NSW. Through our various approaches to career advancement, audience development and community engagement, we play a key role in accelerating and amplifying the diverse, dynamic and distinctive impact of disability on NSW’s creative industries and cultural activities.
In terms of arts practitioners, our work is about leveling up the professional playing field for artists and arts workers with disability as they don’t always get to develop their careers in the same way as arts practitioners without disability due to discrimination, negative attitudes, and physical, social and technological barriers. Through our programs, services and partnerships, we empower thousands of artists and arts workers across all creative disciplines to produce or facilitate unique, powerful and important work that advances their careers, enhances our understanding of living with disability, and transforms how our society experiences the arts. Through championing the work of artists with disability in NSW, we also help to grow audiences for their work within NSW as well as nationally and internationally.
In terms of audiences, our work focused on influencing industry and government to make cultural programming, services, infrastructure and policies more accessible for and inclusive of people with disability. Over three decades, our efforts have contributed to a range of important outcomes in relation to social equity, audience development and the evolution of creative practice. In terms of NSW’s arts and disability community, we are proud to have provided a vital focal point for over 30 years for community members to collaborate, communicate, and agitate around issues related to advancing arts and disability in NSW.
Our Values In Action
Human rights are not just about ‘equality,’ or treating everyone the same. Human rights are also about ‘equity’ which allows for beneficial treatment for some people so they can enjoy their human rights equally with others. This is an important principle of social justice and is the foundation of our strategic approach. Many people with disability do not enjoy the same access to opportunities, experiences, services and facilities across NSW’s arts and cultural sector. Everything we do is about shifting that balance in favour of fairness.
While we acknowledge and celebrate the therapeutic value of creative pursuits for many people with disability, our primary focus as an organisation is on professional arts practice. This involves empowering arts practitioners with disability to strive for excellence within commercial creative industries and encouraging commercial creative industries to strive for excellence in relation to access for audiences with disability. We also acknowledge that in relation to creative practice, excellence can be a subjective measure and so we seek to enable all kinds of creative visions in all kinds of professional contexts.
Diversity is a defining feature of both the arts and disability and so we value and celebrate the diverse talent, skill, creativity, ability, identity and life experience of people with disability. Accordingly, we work to enable as many people with disability as possible to create work for and participate in NSW’s creative industries and cultural activities.
Original ideas, new perspectives and innovative approaches are intrinsic to advancing arts and culture. We recognise that creativity and imagination come in many different forms and can serve many different purposes, and so we work to provide as many opportunities as possible for the creativity of our community members to shine.
As a small organisation with limited resources, we recognise that to achieve transformational change we need to work in partnership with a range of organisations, agencies and individuals. We seek out collaborators who share our vision and values, and we will work together with them in strategic and innovative ways to accomplish our organisational aims and deliver the best possible outcomes for the people and communities we serve.
Image Description: A young man is standing on stage with his arms raised. He is wearing a red cloak and a wig. There are two men on either side of him wearing fluro work vests. Christian Tagliaferro, Ethan Green and Ethan Arnold, TRASH TALK by The Strangeways Ensemble. A Merrigong Theatre Company production in association with The Disability Trust. Photo by Dida Sundet.