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British Council - Disability Arts International
Newsletter #10: Accessibility in Galleries and Museums
14 February 2018
Welcome to Disability Arts International, a website and digital newsletter from the British Council.
In this newsletter we look at galleries and museums that are going above and beyond to provide world-class access provision for disabled visitors. Plus, a reflection from the IETM plenary in Brussels, accessible musical instruments and an overview of the arts and disability scene in Portugal.
Touch Tour at Tate Britain
Film: Two approaches to developing disabled access in Galleries & Museums
Providing access to disabled visitors means so much more than just ensuring they can get into the building. This short film commissioned by the British Council explores two ingenious approaches by organisations from different sections of the UK's galleries and museums ecology, Tate and Attenborough Arts Centre, demonstrating that with creative and inclusive thinking, any organisation can improve its access offer. 
Tanya Raabe Webber's Portraits Untold
The National Trust: involving disabled users in designing access features can be transformative
The National Trust is a charity caring for the historic environment across England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It manages some 320 historic houses with collections which are open to visitors, many of which are registered museums. The National Trust’s Equality Specialist, Heather Smith details the journey it has been on to improve accessibility to its sites for disabled visitors.
IETM Brussels grand hall
IETM Brussels: a disabled artist's perspective
Vici Wreford-Sinnott is a disabled theatre director, playwright and equality strategist. She was one of a cohort of UK-based disabled artists and producers awarded bursaries by the British Council to attend the latest IETM (International network for contemporary performing arts) event in Brussels, November 2017. Here, she reflects on the experience and how it has influenced her ongoing practice.
OHMI Trust: enabling music-making through adapted instruments
The OHMI (One-Handed Musical Instrument) Trust is a UK-based charity which enables musicians with physical impairments to take part in music making. Their annual international instrument-making competition, garners innovative solutions - whether adapting classic instruments or recreating them using electronic technology - which allow disabled musicians the opportunity to play at all levels, from school students to the highest levels of virtuosity. A specially commissioned film and accompanying case study explores some of the past winners and details how you can get involved.

Learn more about the work of the OHMI Trust 
 
Vo'Arte/CIM, "O Aqui",
Country profile: Portugal
Maria Vlachou is Director of Acesso Cultura (Access Culture), a non-profit association of culture professionals and people interested in accessibility issues, based in Almada, Portugal. In the first of a series of country profiles by local experts, Vlachou gives an overview of the arts & disability and access initiatives in Portugal, highlighting the companies and artists to look out for, the state of the sector and identifying the key barriers and opportunities for disabled artists.

 
Best of the net: Unlimited's international collaborations
In March 2017 the Unlimited arts commissioning programme funded six research and development projects which saw UK-based disabled artists and organisations collaborate with counterparts from overseas including Brazil, China (Hong Kong), India, Japan, Palestine and Singapore. This short case study shares learning from the initial R&D stage.
Back to Back theatre: robot costume made of cardboard boxes
Featured company profile: Back to Back Theatre
Back to Back Theatre is one of Australia's most globally recognised companies. It creates new forms of contemporary performance imagined from the minds and experiences of a unique ensemble of disabled actors, giving voice to social and political issues that speak to all people. 
Do you know a disabled artist, disability-led or inclusive company ready for international touring?
Become part of our Artists and Companies database
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