Drake Music are proud to be active members of #WeShallNotBeRemoved, the UK’s Disability Arts Alliance, which came together as an emergency response to COVID-19.
COVID-19 has had – and still is having – a huge impact on the lives of Disabled people in lots of ways, from difficulties securing food deliveries, to life-or-death issues like the unlawful Do Not Resuscitate orders imposed upon people, or the introduction of legislation which allowed local authorities to legally reduce the social care and support they give to their Disabled constituents.
Inclusion London state:
“The pandemic has shone a light on the long-standing structural inequalities and discrimination that Deaf and Disabled people experience. The dreadful disparities are reflected in the grim data released by the Office for National Statistics, which says Disabled people were about twice as likely to die from Covid-19.”
Alongside the diminishment of legal rights there has been a re-medicalisation of language around Disabled people, not least the introduction of the term ‘vulnerable’, yet Disabled people have had to fight for their healthcare rights.
Inclusive Re-opening and Recovery
In the arts we have seen enormous shifts in working patterns and policy and some individuals and organisations in the sector have heeded the call from Disabled artists and Disabled-led organisations to ensure that the switch to digital is genuinely accessible.
However, as restrictions change and venues and cultural spaces begin to re-open there is a very real concern that Disabled people will once again be forgotten and discriminated against, that the ableism engendered by the pandemic will become part of ‘the new normal’.
In light of this, We Shall Not Be Removed has worked in partnership with Ramps on the Moon, Attitude is Everything, Paraorchestra, and What Next? to create “The 7 Principles to Ensure an Inclusive Recovery”, a new guide for the arts & entertainment industry to ensure that disability equality and inclusion are at the heart of the recovery process. It is vital that Deaf, Neurodiverse and Disabled people are not discriminated against as creative, face-to-face work resumes and venues re-open.
‘The 7 Principles’ offers practical guidance to the arts and cultural sector to become actively anti-ableist and to build equality and accessibility into their new ways of working, ensuring inclusion from the start and at the heart of organisational and creative practice.
Read about the 7 Principles and apply them within your organisation. Support Disabled artists, particularly Disabled artists of colour, who have been impacted even harder by COVID-19.
We have a unique opportunity here, to recover from COVID as a stronger, more inclusive, diverse, creative and welcoming sector. This document can be the roadmap for us all to follow to a better ‘normal’.
Sign up to it now!
Note: The document is provided in different accessible formats.
The Seven Inclusive Principles are:
- 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.
- All actions relating to disabled people should be undertaken in accordance with the Social Model of Disability and aim to combat and eliminate ableism.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- Disabled artists are an important cultural asset in the UK and their engagement in all new creative projects should be prioritised.
- 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