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Barriers to Access : Report on the Barriers Faced by Young Disabled and D/deaf People in Accessing Youth Arts Provision in Scotland

Birds of Paradise Theatre Company (2016) Barriers to Access : Report on the Barriers Faced by Young Disabled and D/deaf People in Accessing Youth Arts Provision in Scotland. [Report]

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This report outlines research that investigated the barriers faced by young disabled and D/deaf people in accessing youth arts provision in Scotland. Funded by the Time to Shine National Youth Arts Strategy for Scotland, the research was conducted by Dr. Matson Lawrence in conjunction with Birds of Paradise Theatre Company. The research relates to young people aged 0 – 25, with specific empirical focus on young people aged 16 – 25. Through in-depth interviews and online surveys, the research engaged with 20 disabled and D/deaf young people across Scotland, alongside a number of individuals working within the Scottish youth arts sector and in disability and D/deaf arts. The research found that young disabled and D/deaf people face multiple and intersecting barriers to accessing arts provision. Five main barriers were identified: 1. Finding suitable arts provision; 2. Availability of access information; 3. Lack of provision for access and support; 4. Travel, transport and location; and 5. Attitudes and awareness of arts providers. The research identified five key strategies to address these barriers: 1. Provision specifically for young disabled and D/deaf people; 2. Centralised information about arts opportunities; 3. Front Door to Stage Door Access provision; 4. Connections built with disabled and D/deaf communities across Scotland; and 5. Education and awareness for arts providers. These strategies offer arts providers concrete recommendations for improving disabled and D/deaf access. It is anticipated that, in light of this report, organisations and agencies providing arts opportunities to young people will be better informed of the barriers faced by young disabled and D/deaf people, and better equipped to address these barriers and improve access to their provision.