Latest Update

BOP is consulting with attendees of our 2016 event (see below) and other partners about how we address actions from the day.  You can look at our current plans in the below document.  We are interested to hear from anyone who would like to input.  What’s the next step?  We will be putting a call out for involvement from young disabled people and the sector in June.

​Barriers Follow Up Work

History of the Project

In 2016 BOP researched the barriers faced by young disabled and D/deaf people in accessing Scottish youth arts provision. Funded by the Time to Shine National Youth Arts Strategy for Scotland, the research was conducted by Dr. Matson Lawrence in conjunction with Birds of Paradise Theatre Company. The work resulted in a report that outlines the research that investigated the barriers faced by young disabled and D/deaf people in accessing Scottish youth arts provision.

The research found that young disabled and D/deaf people face multiple and intersecting barriers to accessing arts provision.

Five main barriers were identified:

  1. Finding suitable arts provision;
  2. Availability of access information;
  3. Lack of provision for access and support;
  4. Travel, transport and location; and
  5. Attitudes and awareness of arts providers.

The research identified five key strategies to address these barriers:

  1. Provision specifically for young disabled and D/deaf people;
  2. Centralised information about arts opportunities;
  3. Front Door to Stage Door Access provision;
  4. Connections built with disabled and D/deaf communities across Scotland; and
  5. Education and awareness for arts providers.

Download the full report as a PDF:  ​ Barriers to Access
Download the full report as an accessible Word doc:   Barriers to Access
Download a Plain English Summary of the report – for some people who may have a learning disability or who don’t speak English as their primary language:  ​ Plain English Summary

Barriers Event – Setting Actions

To launch the Barriers report, BOP held an event in Glasgow in December 2016 and invited representatives from arts organisations who have activity that cater to young people and young disabled people who have an interest in accessing youth arts provision.

This event was designed to open up discussion around the report and also to work collaboratively to set clear actions that should be taken to address the barriers and findings within the the report as well as the barriers experienced and identified by people attending the event.  Together we identified 8 Actions and these can be found in the Action Points document below.  These Actions were developed and then prioritised by everyone at the event (you can read about the event in the Reflections doc below).

BOP are in the process of planning how they can address the top three actions:


We are doing this by developing project ideas and talking to partners.  If you would like to ask us anything about this work or get involved please get in touch.

Below is some of the material that came out of the discussions that were held on that day.

  • 8 Actions. This document is a list of 8 Actions that should be taken to address the identified barriers as devised by the people who attended the Barriers Event. Each action has a number of subheadings that were worked through to think about how that action could be achieved
    ​ Barriers Actions
  • Transcript of the event. This document is a transcript of almost all of the words spoken at the entire event from the Electronic Notetaker in attendance
    ​ Barriers Event Transcript
  • A Reflection. This document is a reflection on the Barriers Event, written by disabled artist Caroline Bowditch, who took part in the day as an external evaluator
    ​ Barriers Event – A Reflection
  • Current Good Practice. This document is a list of examples of good practice gathered prior to the event and from suggestions by those at the event.  It has been arranged to fit under the five strategies identified in the report
    ​ Current Good Practice
  • List of attendees. This document is a list of people who attended the Barriers event and also gives the organisation they work for, if applicable, and contact email if shared
    ​ Attendees at Barriers Event


  • Toolkit. This document is a checklist of actions organisations and individuals should think about when planning events to make sure they are making events accessible as possible – this has been created from learning and feedback from the event and in consultation with some attendees
    ​ Accessible Tool Kit