National code of conduct for disability access and inclusion to be developed

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Arts Access Australia is developing a national, self-regulatory and voluntary Code of Conduct for disability inclusivity, accessibility and equity for the Australian arts sector.

Arts Access Australia (AAA), the national peak body for arts and disability, has received $98,000 through the Australia Council’s Re-Imagine: Sector Recovery Initiatives program to develop a national Disability Access & Inclusion Code of Conduct.

The funding will help AAA deliver comprehensive, national stakeholder engagement and public consultations that will underpin the development of the Code.

‘This funding allows us to undertake the critical step of working with arts and cultural organisations, artists, arts workers and audiences with disability across the country to co-design a national self-regulatory voluntary Code of Conduct for disability inclusivity, accessibility and equity for the Australian arts sector,’ said AAA CEO Matthew Hall.

‘By developing the code in this manner, we will create a harmonised and transparent framework with full agency of people with disability.’

Public consultations will be delivered throughout the country and online and will explore reasonable expectations for community standards of disability access and inclusion; the best ways to imbed awareness, education and accountability; and effective ways for the Code to be readily integrated into organisations’ existing operations and processes.

‘This national Code of Conduct is an integral part of AAA’s plans – in collaboration with, and the agency of, the disability community and the arts sector – to strengthen and secure the future of a vibrant, diverse, accessible and equitable Australian arts and cultural sector,’ Hall said.

‘We are very grateful the Australia Council for the Arts recognised the need for Australia’s arts and culture future to include artists, arts workers and audiences with disability, and chose to fund this important project,’ he added.

The Australia Council’s Re-imagine: Sector Recovery Initiatives are a direct response to disruptions and challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, with investment supporting Australia’s cultural and creative industries to re-imagine practice and operations and provide needed resources and time to test ideas and models for a more resilient, equitable and thriving future.

As reported by ArtsHub last week, the  Re-imagine: Sector Recovery Initiatives fund has supported 39 applications (including Arts Access Australia’s application) across two streams: Cultural and Creative Solutions and Industry Collaborations – totalling $2.4 million.

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