Disability Access Course

A 3-part, comprehensive zoom series targeted at artists working with Disabled people as participants in an arts and disability context. The course will cover best practice in how to make an event, talk, workshop, exhibition, and all of the content that goes along with producing art events and programmes, accessible to a Disabled audience. It will also cover how to make websites, social media posts and other online content accessible to these audiences.

Part 1
Wednesday 13 January 2021, 6:30-8:30pm

- History of Disability Arts movement
- Introduction to the social model of disability and Equalities Act
- Working with Disabled people as participants in an arts and disability context
- Working with Disabled artists as collaborators
Part 2
Wednesday 20 January 2021, 6:30-8:30pm

- How to make a project fully accessible
- Pre-planning an event, talk, workshop, exhibition
- Identifying and navigating issues that can arise when delivering the activity
- Making an event accessible in real life planning and delivery

Part 3
Wednesday 27 January 2021, 6:30-8:30pm 

- Making an event accessible (online) and using social media best practice
- Checklist of good practice
- Understanding the specific practical issues to take into account when engaging with different groups of Disabled people

This course is the first of its kind in Scotland and will be valuable to all artists who produce artworks for a viewing public and for those who work in arts engagement across disciplines and contexts. It is advised that members commit to attending all 3 sessions, there is limited capacity on this course and priority will be given to those who are able to attend all 3 dates. Each session lasts 2 hours and there will be comfort breaks, discussion, break out sessions, and contributions from artists from the Disabled community. 

Developed and delivered by Alison Smith, a Scottish Deaf British Sign Language (BSL) performance poet, digital activist and arts practitioner. Using relational aesthetics, Smith reveals unspoken dialogues; making work which documents her world by focusing on love, sexuality, relationships, friendships, and pain. Much of her practice is embedded in Deaf Arts and Disability Arts Movements. Smith questions self-oppression and agency within the structures that govern everyday life; her work aims to create space for herself and her audiences to be their own autobiographers, using art to change systems rather than simply documenting them. Her performances use layers of written narrative in English and BSL; she mixes live performance with text and film, using artistic collaborators rather than sign language interpreters to create accessible presentations. Collaborating adds an unexpected dimension to her work, enacting the conversations between the Deaf Community and the hearing world she aims to create and seeks to embody. Smith investigates how the body can be used in live art to respond to the environment in which we live and reveal our hidden anger, creativity and the intelligence of our visible and invisible selves. Smith is Director of Pesky People; a new start up addressing the inaccessibility of digital content for Disabled and Deaf people using all forms of social media and is also the founder of the Go Genie platform and the Digital Meets Digital Unconference. She is an experienced art professional and artist with 17 years' experience within the creative industries with a specialist background in Disability Arts, community outreach and engagement. Alison is currently Equalities and Diversity Officer for Creative Scotland and the Access Coordinator for SQIFF (Scottish Queer International Film Festival).


If you have any questions, please contact [email protected]

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