Seven Inclusive Principles

Working Safely through Covid-19:

Seven Inclusive Principles for Arts & Cultural Organisations

From #WeShallNotBeRemoved, Paraorchestra, Attitude is Everything, Ramps on the Moon and What Next? – this initiative is aimed at the non-disabled cultural industry to ensure deaf, neurodiverse and disabled people are not discriminated against as work restarts and venues re-open. The Seven Principles offer practical guidance to arts and cultural organisations to support disabled artists, audiences, visitors, participants and employees and have been peer tested with a range of disabled creative practitioners. The Principles are applicable across all art forms and across all 4 UK nations.

The suite of guidance documents produced by the UK and Devolved Governments to support the reopening of the cultural industries largely focus on headline safety issues. Many Sector Support Organisations have also developed additional guidance but access has often been overlooked.

The below document gives arts and cultural organisations and individuals the tools to approach delivery and recovery specifically through the lens of Disability and relevant Equality legislation.  

By offering a set of seven clear principles, we wish to support the industry to make decisions inclusively, to go beyond compliance and celebrate diversity. We believe this will have wide-ranging social, economic and ethical implications for arts and culture.

The Principles and the examples of good practice offered here are an essential resource for staff at all grades across arts and cultural institutions. They contain implications for artistic and managerial staff, technical, as well as public-facing front of house and box office teams. Adherence to the Principles will assist arts organisations to support disabled people’s vital participation as audiences and visitors, the creative workforce including artists, freelance creative practitioners and the sector’s salaried workforce.

The term “disabled” in this context covers people who self-define as D/deaf, as neurodiverse, as disabled or as learning disabled.

The Seven Inclusive Principles are:

  • 1. All organisational activities must comply with the requirements of The Equality Act (2010) and make reasonable adjustments to operating practice that ensure disabled people are not unlawfully  discriminated against
  • 2. All actions relating to disabled people should be undertaken in accordance with the Social Model of Disability and aim to combat and eliminate ableism
  • 3. Co-production with disabled people: disabled people should be consulted when organisations develop bespoke operating or re-opening plans, and undertake Equality Impact Assessments before making decisions
  • 4. Organisations need to provide clear, accurate and comprehensive information about Covid-19 measures to enable disabled artists, practitioners, employees, visitors, audiences and participants to assess their own levels of risk, and be prepared to adapt to specific enquiries or requests.
  • 5. The customer journey for disabled audiences and visitors should be thoroughly mapped, ensuring it is equality impact assessed, clearly communicated in multiple formats to the public, and prioritises free companion tickets to maintain essential access
  • 6. Disabled artists are an important cultural asset in the UK and their engagement in all new creative projects should be prioritised
  • 7. Organisations should ensure they celebrate diversity, embed anti-ableist principles to support and protect disabled people, and should demonstrate due care for the disabled workforce when making decisions about redundancy, restructuring and new ways of working