Our CEO Morwenna Collett is in Texas this week to present at the Kennedy Center’s Leadership Exchange in Arts and Disability (LEAD) conference, held in Austin this year.
The LEAD Conference, held over three days in a different location in the states each year, brings together professionals who are working to make cultural arts programs and facilities accessible to people with disability of all ages. Hundreds of delegates from around the world attend lectures and workshops throughout the week to learn about the latest technological advances, get the straight talk on legal issues and discuss how to reach, welcome and engage people of all abilities. We asked Morwenna a few questions…
Why are you attending the conference this year?
I’ve been wanting to attend LEAD for several years, as it’s a major flagship international arts and disability event in the annual calendar. I’ve spent a fair bit of time in the UK, but am less familiar with what’s happening in the states, so LEAD will be an excellent opportunity to learn more, meet people and find out about the access programs that organisations across the States are running successfully.
What are you presenting on?
I will be presenting on how to design inclusive and accessible evaluation processes, building on my evaluation and research work with organisations such as the Unlimited Commissions programme (UK), the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) and Accessible Arts. For an evaluation to be successful, it should be designed from the outset with inclusion in mind, to ensure it can capture information from and provide a voice for all stakeholders.
Evaluations that engage with people with disability require understanding, sensitivity, access, and communication provisions that enable full and equal participation for all stakeholders. I will be sharing accessible and flexible evaluation design and methodology tips and tricks to maximize inclusion of people with disability. This will cover all aspects of evaluation from planning and fieldwork to analysis and reporting. More information about my presentation is available on the event schedule.
What are you hoping to gain from the conference?
Several hundred delegates with a huge wealth of experience across arts and accessibility attend LEAD, so it’s a fantastic chance to network and share ideas. I’m fascinated by the legislative requirement in the states that arts organisations over a certain size that are government funded must have an access manager, and I think the LEAD program demonstrates the breadth of accessible programs that are happening all across the country. I’m looking forward to bringing back ideas to implement into our Arts Activated Conference, and also expanding my audio description skills, which seems to be a key focus area at LEAD this year.