At DMAC it’s very important to us that as many people as possible have the opportunity to be involved in everything we have to offer. That’s why I have signed the open letter sent to Oliver Dowden, the Secretary of State for Culture from an alliance of D/deaf and disabled people working in arts and culture.
I know from my own personal experience that there are challenges to making a career in the sector if you have impairments, whether that’s having to find different ways to do things, explaining to people that no, the access measures they have put into place don’t work for you, or having to publicly disclose something about your personal situation because no one has considered that not everyone is the same.
I also know first-hand the challenges for families with disabled members wanting to go out together to do things, ‘normal’ things, which can turn into major operations and sometimes regrettably include being told off for inappropriate behaviour in public spaces.
Great progress has been made over the time I’ve been working in the arts and heritage world, access and inclusion is much more considered and there has been a great increase in opportunities for the many talented disabled artists and creatives in the UK. We are world-leading in this area and it’s so important that this isn’t lost due to the challenges of the Covid19 pandemic which has disproportionately affected disabled people in many ways.
Read our letter in full on the Graeae website and if you want to support the campaign follow #WeShallNotBeRemoved on social media and help us make some noise!
Director and CEO of Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft