Leading Museums, Museum Leaders

National Arts and Disability Strategy

Emily Crockford in front of her collaborative work with Rosie Deacon, 2018. Photo: Document Photography.

Key results of the 2018 public consultation National Arts and Disability Strategy, Department of Communications and the Arts, February 2019

About this report

Between 24 September and 3 December 2018, people shared their stories and ideas about arts and disability in Australia.

The Meeting of Cultural Ministers asked to hear these ideas and stories. The Meeting of Cultural Ministers is made up of the Cultural Ministers from the Australian Government and state and territory governments. The statistics in the report all come from the online survey.

These ideas and stories will help Ministers to make a new National Arts and Disability Strategy.

The quotes in this report show what people with disability, organisations and carers said about arts and disability in a survey, submission or face-to-face meeting. This report reflects the views of people who participated.

For some questions in the survey, people could choose more than one answer.

How did the consultation work?

The consultation included three separate surveys, one each for:

  • people with disability
  • carers organisations.

People could tell their stories and share their ideas by:

  • writing
  • sending an email
  • making a phone call
  • making a video or audio recording.

We visited 18 locations for face-to-face meetings in 8 capital cities and 7 regional towns.

The face-to-face meetings were run by an independent facilitator. The consultation was promoted via email, social media and phone calls by the Australian Government, state and territory governments, the independent facilitator and peak arts and disability bodies. Anyone was able to participate in the consultation.

You can read the Easy English version of this report on the website.

What did people say?

During the consultation, there were some common topics of discussion. People and organisations across Australia shared stories and ideas on these themes, which are detailed in this report.

  1. Education and training can be important for careers in the arts, but they are not accessible to everyone.
  2. Artists and arts workers with disability contribute to Australia’s cultural life, but there are barriers to arts employment.
  3. Artists and arts workers with disability have leadership experience and aspirations, but don’t always have the opportunity to lead.
  4. Creative and cultural sectors are collaborative, and this creates positive outcomes for artists and arts workers with disability.
  5. Understanding of disability and access enables people with disability to participate in the arts and their communities.
  6. There needs to be a broader understanding of what is possible when it comes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and the arts.

People shared other ideas and stories too. All of these will be considered in the work to develop a renewed National Arts and Disability Strategy. You can read all the public submissions on the website.

What does ‘arts’ include?

The National Arts and Disability Strategy covers all of the creative and cultural sector—all art forms and venues. This includes things like:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Arts
  • Community Arts and Cultural Development
  • Cultural Heritage and History
  • Dance
  • Design, including Fashion
  • Emerging and Experimental Arts
  • Film, Screen and Virtual Reality
  • Games and Games Development
  • Keeping Places
  • Libraries
  • Literature
  • Museums and Galleries
  • Music
  • Radio and Podcasts
  • Theatre and Performance
  • Visual Arts and Craft.

What does ‘disability’ mean?

In this report, disability is defined according to the social model of disability. The social model is explained in the Convention on the Rights of People with Disability. According to the Convention, …disability results from the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal barriers that hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.

The Australian Disability Discrimination Act 1992 definition of disability includes: physical, intellectual, psychiatric, sensory, neurological and learning disabilities, as well as physical disfigurement and the presence in the body of disease-causing organisms.

Some people may prefer different words to describe their experience—for example, some people refer to themselves as disabled, not as a person with disability. It is also important to note that Deaf Australians and artists may or may not identify as people with disability. Deaf people may instead identify as part of a culturally and linguistically diverse group.

In the survey, we asked people how they describe their disability. Figure 21 on page 32 shows the results.

Read more

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