Arts & Disability Forum 2016: Shaping Perspectives, Enabling Opportunities
- We launched the inaugural Arts & Disability Forum 2016 with the National Arts Council and Singapore International Foundation. The forum ran from 29-31 March at the National Gallery Singapore.
- Speakers Jo Verrent, senior producer at Unlimited, Claire Cunningham, a multidisciplinary artist, and Barbara Lisicki and Zoe Partington, trainers from Shape Arts joined us from the UK.
- And some regional friends from Malaysia and Cambodia..
- The forum was fully subscribed and attended by participants from the arts, culture and social service sectors.
- Art can create social change if we continue to challenge society's assumptions about disability. We were introduced to the social model of disability, which simply means that disability is caused by the way society is designed. A person is not disabled if the right structures are created to be inclusive and universal. Remove the barriers.
- Participants were excited to make a difference. "To boldly go where everyone else has gone" - the ambition of inclusive arts in Singapore. They gathered on the rooftop of National Gallery Singapore to discuss how they could shift perceptions in society.
- Shape Arts conducted an access audit of the National Gallery Singapore.
- Audiences were treated to performances by PwD artists
- Watch the Arts & Disability Forum 2016 highlight reel below!
- Continuing our work to support equality, diversity and inclusivity in the arts, the British Council partnered with the Singapore Writers Festival to pilot the first ever access programme at the fest.
- We sponsored sign language interpreters from the Singapore Association for the Deaf for select SWF events. Deaf and hearing impaired participants were given complimentary festival passes.
- By pioneering this programme, we supported people with disabilities by enabling access and equal opportunities to participate in the arts. Nine Deaf members of public signed up for the interpretation services. Seven of whom then attended one or more events at the festival.
- The inclusion of sign language interpretation was well received by not just the Deaf community, but by other festival goers. Members of public posted and shared the inclusion of sign language interpretation on social media as well. In addition, there were invited guests and other patrons who gave verbal feedback that expressed their appreciation of the inclusivity shown at the festival. At the festival, it was also observed that more disabled persons were present. There was also verbal feedback given that the festival grounds are one of the more accessible places in Singapore.
Notes on Blindness Film Screening at the Singapore International Film Festival