There are many ways you can improve access for disabled people across your activities.
Make it easier for disabled people to request access requirements.
Do your own research and/or train your staff – see resources below. Hire disabled people.
Invite artists, staff and contractors to share their Access Docs. You do not have to identify as disabled to create an access doc.
Do not rely solely on the lists on this page – use the Resources linked below!
Contact me if you’re interested in training or consultancy in improving access and inclusion.
Simple changes you can make
- Give an audio description of yourself or what you’re wearing the first time you speak at an event
- Capitalise hashtags so that people using #ScreenReaders can read them
- Add image and video descriptions to Alt text on social media posts
- Underline link text in documents and on websites
- Become an ally and advocate for better access, especially from businesses and organisations
Make your website more accessible
- Add Alt text to your images and videos
- Avoid all-caps and text overlaying images
- Use WebAIM resources and tools to understand up-to-date web accessibility, test colours, contrast ratios and web page access issues
- Download and the NVDA screen reader (free/donation) to test your website
- Use an accessible-ready WordPress theme or website builder
- Plugins/overlay apps won’t fix everything and can sometimes get in the way!
- If you dabble in HTML/PHP/etc, use W3 Schools accessibility guide and read the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)
- Reduce links that open in a new tab
- State ‘opens in a new tab’ within link text
- Don’t use ‘click here’, state what the page is in the text, eg read more About me
Organising an event or activity?
At the bare minimum, in addition to above (for individual organisers):
- Captions for digital events
- Wheelchair accessible spaces and toilets
- Comfortable seating
- Comfort breaks every hour
- Digital access for in-person events
- Free tickets for people on low incomes
- Fair pay for artists and contractors
- State what access is in place, including venue access, hearing loops, steps, etc
- Have a space for people to add access requirements during event booking
- Safety for clinically vulnerable attendees: mask wearing, hand sanitiser, ventilation, lateral flow tests
Build-in an access plan and budget from the beginning – if you’re running a festival, conference, or you’re a business or organisation, you can also provide:
- Develop a Safer Spaces policy
- Sign language interpreters
- Relaxed environment
- Gender neutral toilets with sanitary bins
- Sliding scale tickets
- Travel and childcare/carer bursaries
- A private quiet space (with low lighting, blankets, cushions, stim aids; some people may need a space to lie down and rest and/or stretch)
What is an Access Doc?
An access doc, AKA ‘access rider’ is a document which lists and explains your access requirements. Anyone can create an access doc – you do not have to identify as disabled.
Maybe you find verbal instructions easier to process or remember than written instructions. Maybe you are forgetful and need reminders. Maybe you are sensitive to light, are dyslexic, D/deaf or Hard of Hearing, or chronically ill… View examples of Access Docs for Artists.
Social Model of Disability (Shape Arts)
Access Docs for Artists – how to create and/or use an access doc
Birds of Paradise Resources – resources from a majority disabled-led production company
Chronic Illness Inclusion – resources and advocacy from a disabled-led organisation
Disability Arts Online – disabled-led arts and culture journal
Dyslexia-friendly guide by British Dyslexia Association
Inklusion Guide – access and inclusion guide for authors and the literature sector
Shape Arts Resources – resources from a disability-led arts organisation
Unlimited resources – access and inclusion toolkits and resources for artists, creatives, producers, programmers and organisers, from a majority disabled-led arts organisation.
Fair minimum pay for artists, creatives and freelancers: