Arts Council of Northern Ireland

The Funding and Development Agency
for The Arts in Northern Ireland

028 9262 3555

Arts & Disability

We have made a substantial investment to create new opportunities for disabled people to be involved in the arts on their own terms.

Our approach is based on the Social Model of disability and we place our emphasis on tackling barriers to equality.

Disabled people are one of the most marginalised groups in our society and still have limited opportunities to be involved in the arts.

The Arts Council works in partnership with and takes advice from disabled people. Whilst the Arts Council primarily connects with Arts & Disability practice, we also recognise and value Disability Arts.

• Arts & Disability covers a broad range of inclusive arts practice involving disabled people as artists, participants and audience members.

• Disability Arts is a specific form of arts practice where disabled artists create work that reflects their identity and experience as disabled people.

Seven Inclusive Principles for Arts & Cultural Organisations working safely through COVID-19

Campaigning cultural organisations We Shall Not Be Removed, Ramps on the Moon, Attitude is Everything, Paraorchestra and What Next? have joined together to create a new guide for the arts and entertainment sectors to support disability inclusion.

They have launched Seven Inclusive Principles for Arts & Cultural Organisations working safely through COVID-19 to complement the suite of guidance documents already issued by UK Governments and sector support organisations.

The focus of this unique initiative, which has been broadly welcomed by the sector, is to ensure deaf, neurodiverse and disabled people are not discriminated against as creative work begins again and as venues re-open. The Seven Principles offer practical guidance to arts and cultural organisations to support disabled artists, audiences, visitors, participants and employees. 

The Principles highlight the importance of: legal obligations, combating ableism in the sector, consulting directly with disabled people, comprehensive public information on Covid measures, remapping the customer journey, engagement of disabled artists and celebrating disability in the workforce.