D/deaf and disabled artists and arts workers face additional barriers in establishing a career the creative industries. Below we have collated various resources that you might find helpful in developing your creative practice or organisation.

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Artist Interviews

We have spoken to some of the UK’s best and brightest D/deaf and disabled talent from the performing arts, so you can understand the decision process that steered them through their career and discover what they believe is important to give yourself the best chance at establishing a career.

Nickie Miles-Wildin

Nickie Miles-Wildin biography

Nickie Miles-Wildin is a director and theatre maker. As an actor she’s well known for her role as Miranda in the Paralympics Opening Ceremony London 2012. Directing credits include: Bingo Lingo (co-director/Wild N Beets), Disability Sex Archives,  Two Can Toucan (TwoCan Theatre), Nana’s Jumble (Kazzum), Staff Director on Mosquitoes (Dorfman, National Theatre), Associate Director on Tommy (Ramps On The Moon National Tour), Assistant Director credits: The House of Bernarda Alba (Graeae/Manchester Royal Exchange), Lost and Found (GDance), Blood Wedding (Graeae/Dundee Rep/Derby Theatre), Waiting Game (Kazzum), Wheels on Broadway (Graeae). Nickie is an Associate Artist for Kazzum. In 2014 Nickie co-founded TwoCan, Gloucestershire’s first professional disabled-led theatre company. Nickie is currently Resident Assistant Director at Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre.

Caroline Parker

Caroline Parker biography

Most recent with House of Krip/Fittings Multi Media Arts for the Vogue Ball 2017 in Liverpool. Previously played Antonia in Birds of Paradise production ‘Miranda and Caliban – The Making of a Monster’ which took place in Hong Kong and Glasgow simultaneously. TV appearances include Doctors BBC, Murphy’s Law BBC, Stuart a Life Backwards BBC/HBO, Switch BBC. With such companies as Krazy Kat Theatre, Hot Coals Theatre and The Bone Ensemble Caroline has also consulted/directed tweaking their visual creations. Finding and evolving the funny, and clear physical storytelling.

Caroline also does the stand up comedy circuit, is a member of Abnormally Funny People. In the cabaret circuit Caroline performs in her unique style signed songs, she recently gave a TEDx talk on ‘Singing Without Her Voice’. At the 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony she signed the closing number ‘I am What I Am’ alongside Beverly Knight. In 2015 Caroline won three best Actress awards for her role Mabel Morgan in BSLBT Zone film ‘If I Don’t Lose, I’ll Lose’ at the Cenedeaf III Rome film festival, Clin d’Oeil and Cannes Disability Film Festival 2016.

Kinny Gardner

Kinny Gardner biography

Kinny is from Leith, is Hard of Hearing and is 58 years old. Studied Classical Ballet and at The Martha Graham School with Martha Graham herself. West End credits: ‘Godspell’, ‘The Rocky Horror Show’, ‘The Mousetrap’ and ‘ Chicago’. Rep. and tours include: ‘The Pirates of Penzance’, ‘Marat/Sade’, ‘The Threepenny Opera’, ‘Assassins’ and ‘Cabaret’. Kinny is a principle guest solo artist with The Lindsay Kemp Company with whom he has toured the world in ‘Flowers’, ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, ‘The Big Parade’, ‘Cinderella’, ‘Variete’ and ‘The Last Dance of Elizabeth the First’. He retains the honour of being the only person permitted to re-create a Kemp company work outside of Lindsay Kemp’s own, re-staging ‘Variete’ for Youth Music Theatre U.K. He is Artistic Director of Krazy Kat Theatre Company and a Development Adviser to BBC Cbeebies.
Awards: BBC Community Hero Award, British Citizens Award, British Empire Medal for services to Theatre and Disability (Queen’s Birthday Honours List).

Amelia Cavallo

Amelia Cavallo biography

Amelia Cavallo is a blind performer from the USA with experience in acting, singing, dancing, aerial circus and burlesque. She is also a multi-instrumentalist, musical director and composer. Recent stage performances include Tommy (Ramps On The Moon) Into The Woods (Royal Exchange Manchester) A Winter’s Tale (Taking Flight Theatre), Beauty and The Beast (Theatre Royal Stratford) and The Threepenny Opera (Graeae Theatre Company) She has also composed, MDed and performed in original works called Sailing Through The Dark (Liberty Festival) and I Breathe (Flying Diplodocus). She also works as a freelance MD and composer for PAD Productions, Extant Theatre and with her band, Sunshine Savage. Amelia was a sway pole performer in the London 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony, and also performed at the cultural Olympiad in Rio with Graeae Theatre’s production of The Garden in September, 2016. When not on stage, behind a musical instrument or dangling from a height, Amelia can be found working towards her Phd in disability politics and theatrical performance at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. For more information visit

A Guide to Writing Plays from Rob Drummer


It might be helpful to start with what a play is, in its simplest form, so how about the following definition:

“A play is a form of literature written by a playwright, usually consisting of dialogue between characters, intended for theatrical performance rather than just reading.”

The most important thing here is to remember that a play is intended for performance, to be experienced by an audience and to be performed by actors, so the words on the page are only the beginning. They are like the plans for a building or even a sketch prepared before a painting. A lot of the making of a new play happens with the script as a starting point, even when all of the dialogue is spoken.  Remember as a playwright you are telling stories with words and pictures.


I like to also consider what a playwright is, so how about the following definition:

If you think about how the word playwright is spelt it has more in common with a shipwright or a wheelwright and that is to say that they are both makers, contributing to a much larger process.  The playwright is vital but also is one of the collaborators in the making of the play. 

In my experience we all write differently, I’ve yet to meet two playwrights who mirror each other’s writing habits or who approach writing plays in identical ways. Of course there are shared ways of working and similarities and one thing that is the same across the board is that we all need to start somewhere.

It is fair to say that plays come in all shapes and sizes and the more you read the more you will realise there are lots of ways to write, to arrange your writing on the page but there are some rules you could start to follow.


Some Ways To Format Your Play On The Page

I’m going to begin with some advice in terms of formatting:

  • Start each new line of dialogue on a new line and include the character name at the start of the line.
  • If you are using stage directions, separate them from dialogue on the page and perhaps use italics, less is usually more and keep them limited to essential action that is vital to the storytelling.
  • Generally speaking, a big shift in time or location means a new scene might be useful, have a think about time and place and make a decision if your play works best with a break in the middle (the interval) or if it is best experienced in one sitting, over ninety minutes.
  • Consider the sound of your dialogue, the rhythm and pace of your play and think about characters who might interrupt each other, or might trail off at the end of a sentence. Some interesting ways to represent this include:
  • … represents a character trailing off at the end of a sentence, perhaps lost in thought.
  • / represents a point of interruption, where the next character overlaps with their dialogue
  • Finally, always remember that page numbers are really helpful, your name and the title of the play should appear at least on the cover page and a character breakdown can be really helpful to anybody reading your play for the first time.


Useful Links

  • Theatre Tech BSL  The Technical Theatre BSL (British Sign Language) Project aims to promote technical theatre for Deaf people.  They do this through exploring and translating technical theatre words and jargon into BSL.  This in turn will provide greater access for Deaf people to training and employment in technical theatre.
  • Shape Arts Resources to help improve your organisations confidence in working with disabled people, and making your organisation more diverse and inclusive.
  • UnlimitedDemystifying Access: A guide for producers and performance makers – how to create better access for audiences to the performing arts.


Resources for organisations

The documents below have been informed by past events and experience and we update them as any new learning occurs – they are live documents. We are very happy for other people to use them and we encourage further input and suggestions – which can be emailed to

Accessible Marketing Toolkit

This toolkit is a checklist that BOP use as a reference when creating marketing material.

​ Accessible Marketing Toolkit

Accessible Event Planning Toolkit

This document is a checklist that BOP use as a reference when planning events.

​BOP Accessible Event Planning Toolkit

BOP Equalities Monitoring Form

This document is a preview of the questions we ask in our Equalities Monitoring Form. The version we send out to people who work with us is a Google Form, so the questions are check boxes that people can select. Circular icons for a question indicate only one option can be selected, square icons for a question indicate multiple choice is available.

​BOP Equalities Monitoring Form

Access Requirements Form – for freelancers

This is the form we send out to all freelancers we engage in work to ensure that we are made aware of any access requirements they might have. We are then able to more easily accommodate these requirements in a way that is useful for the individual. By sending it out to everyone we work with we ensure that even people who might not have raised their access requirements to us prior to that point are given an opportunity to update us on their personal situation.

​Access Requirements Form – for freelancers

Academic paper: ‘Enhancing relaxed performance: evaluating the Autism Arts Festival’

by Ben Fletcher-Watson and Shaun May

‘Relaxed performances’ allow theatre spectators to experience a non-judgmental environment, featuring adjustments to make them more accessible to a range of audiences. The Autism Arts Festival attempted to develop the idea of relaxed performances further to create an entirely autism-friendly festival in Canterbury. The organisers developed a suite of features to make the festival more accessible, and the suite as a whole was effective at increasing the accessibility of the festival. Moreover, discussions with performers indicate that the festival, as an ‘autistic space’, was conducive of both a sense of community solidarity and engagement with the politics of neurodiversity.

Easy to read description

This paper looks at relaxed performances, which are theatre performances where it is OK to talk or move around during the show. Relaxed performances are often enjoyed by people on the autistic spectrum. This is because the lights are less bright, the sound effects are quieter, there are more theatre staff to help, and you can read about the theatre and the show before you visit, so you feel more comfortable and relaxed.

This paper looks at the Autism Arts Festival, which was a two-day festival of theatre, films, comedy, and art where all the performances were relaxed. The people who ran the Festival wanted to make sure that people were comfortable before and during their visit – especially if they were autistic. To do this, they tried lots of new things, such as videos of the paths around the theatres, and free toys to fidget with. We found out that most people who visited the Festival thought it was friendly and welcoming. We also found that people used lots of different things to help them feel comfortable.

The people who made the shows told us that the Festival felt like an ‘autistic space’, which means a place where autistic people feel at home. They liked meeting other people on the autistic spectrum. They had interesting conversations about how autistic people and people who are not on the spectrum could work together and learn from each other.

Enhancing relaxed performance: evaluating the Autism Arts Festival