Photo credit: Emily Armstrong
Opening our doors to everyone and creating a safe environment for families to explore and enjoy the arts together is incredibly important to us. In our 2016 annual survey, 40% of respondents reported having a family member with a disability. According to the Family Resources Survey 2015/16, almost one in five people in the UK has a disability. Being accessible and welcoming to all is therefore one of top priorities.
Ramsey Janini recently wrote an article outlining how we created Z-access, a free family fun day for families and children with disabilities and additional requirements.
“In partnership with Triple C and Autism for the Arts, we’ve created free family fun days that welcome everyone, regardless of circumstances, and seek to remove barriers that traditionally prevent people with disabilities from enjoying cultural spaces. The primary goal of the fun days is to encourage new families into our building, and then to give them the confidence to join our regular programme.
We’ve been delighted by the new smiles in our building as well as old familiar faces. To ensure that everyone who visits feels comfortable, safe and welcome, we hold our fun days on Sundays when we’d usually be closed, allowing us to completely dedicate our building to Z-access.
The fun days have the spirit of a relaxed festival, with activities that families can join in and move between whenever they want. A sensory space and a separate quiet space are available at all times, and BSL interpreters are at the entrance to greet and assist families who require it. Anyone booking in advance is emailed a handout with details of the activities and pictures of the facilitators, to help them you know what to expect when you arrive.”