Are We Nearly There Yet?

Are We Nearly There Yet?

May 05, 2021

We all know that disability and neurodiversity access on a level playing field is important, not only to the neurodiverse artists but also the neurodiverse visitor / viewer or participant. We also know that there is so much talk and funding put into aiding access and similarly access and support for other protected characteristics. This is a good thing as we should all have equality of access to opportunities, arts spaces, events etc. However, are organisations listening to the call and do they have the capacity to make the adaptations necessary?

There are some brilliant organisations out there working hard to speak to people like me and to become accessible to all however, the capacity of the organisation, in my experience, can be an issue. The desire is there but can this be backed up with the human resources and time necessary to create change. The answer to this question is often no or very, very, slowly leaving no meaningful impact.

My work provides the practical information to embrace those that are neurodiverse, for example, what neurodiversity is, its effects and what it affects. It also looks at how organisational management can be emotionally & physically detrimental, but small tweaks mean that it doesn’t have to be. Ideas on how and what can be changed to create that all important level playing field that doesn’t cause harm, but enables full access to the opportunity, the space, an event or workshop being delivered, an exhibition etc. Once the knowledge is imparted, it just takes some thought and action from the organisation to deliver. This can be a shaky time when other draws on time reduce the capacity to deliver what is necessary and sometimes these changes don’t take place as wheels can turn slowly. However, this is not always seen, as training has taken place so the box has been ticked. Follow up action and attitudinal change is the most important aspect of the whole process.

To aid this process I would like to invite organisations in the process of changing policies and enabling access for those that are neurodiverse to ask themselves the following questions and answer them honestly.

Do you have the information that you need to make the changes necessary and embrace neurodiverse artists and visitors?

Have you gained this information from a credible source i.e. those that are neurodiverse and understand possible solutions?

What aspect of your actions and policies need changing? How do you know this?

Do you have the capacity to do this with your current workload?

If you have not, how do you create the capacity to do this?

When will it be done? (Stick to it)

Why is it important to you to do this over and above it being a requirement for funders?

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