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How can we make the arts more accessible?

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Jul 21, 2021

Expressing yourself creatively is part of being human. However, often people living with disability can be left out of mainstream arts and culture from a young age. For children and young people to participate more fully in art and performance-based activities, adjustments often need to be made to make the environment welcoming and accessible for them. These are often adjustments to attitude and approach – much more than just the physical environment itself.

This month, we were thrilled to announce that applications are open for True Grit, an accessible dance workshop we are holding in partnership with Sydney Opera House and the Australian Ballet in November for anyone aged 17-25 years. There are so many ways we can make the arts more accessible for children and young people with disability, so that the next generation of artists can thrive – here are a few of them.

What adjustments can make the arts more accessible?

  • Graphic symbols can be used in support activities before or after a performance.
  • Relaxed performances which allow noise and enable theatregoers to leave the audience throughout the performance as needed. Lifestart is involved in a relaxed performance of Grug for ages 2+ at Sydney Opera House on 10 December 2021.
  • Audio descriptions can assist young people with low vision or blindness to experience visual art.
  • Having a sign language interpreter available for young people who are Deaf or hard of hearing can ensure that they do not miss out on live performances.

Accessible arts programs in New South Wales

  • Sydney Opera House has a range of accessibility programs for making and enjoying theatre, music and dance. Their goal is to create barrier-free access for everyone in Sydney to be able to enjoy everything Sydney has to offer.
  • The Australian Ballet’s education program, offered in partnership with Sydney Opera House, is dedicated to dispelling the myth that performing arts are not accessible to everyone, and hold workshops and classes for children and young people with disability.
  • Art Gallery of NSW and the Museum of Contemporary Art both offer a variety of access programs for artists and art lovers alike.
  • FrontUP holds programs for children and young people with disability to explore and make artworks in a variety of forms.

Find out how we can support you

If you would like to learn more about the accessible arts programs Lifestart is involved with or want to learn more about how we can support children and young people with disability, contact us here.

Sign up to find out more about the True Grit accessible dance workshop here.