Access Arts – Helping those Experiencing Disability

Fete de la Musique Brisbane 2008 - Musical Chairs - courtesy Brisbane City Council - Photograph Antoine Matarasso, Studio Matarasso

Access Arts at Brisbane provide support and encouragement so that people with disabilities can be involved at ever level of both corporate and community life, including providing practical advice to bands and dance teams. The popular TV show GLEE out of America is helping by providing an invaluable role model for the up and coming and contemporary generation for that of ensuring that the arts sector is, and will always remain inclusive.

In 2002, during its annual School Holiday Children’s Program, organizers at St John’s Cathedral at Brisbane provided a Braille Trail for children to learn about and understand how it would feel to be blind. Putting on a blindfold, and following the trail only by touch, was a very humbling experience for all who participated. The volunteer team running the event encouraged mums and dads and grandparents, as well as the volunteer Cathedral guides and staff to take part. The guides, who introduced people to this stunning international tourist attraction until this point had not really come to terms with how to go about delivering a tour inclusive of everyone in the community.  It made them think about how they would deliver a tour in a magnificent stone built Gothic style cathedral filled with awesome architectural features and brilliantly coloured stained glass to someone unable to see. And, they learned a great deal about how to make the stories they were telling come to life through words and touch alone. It was a great challenge for them to understand and know how to be inclusive.

Well known Brisbane based vision impaired performer Peter Vance often sings with Brass Roots live

Access Arts are both professional and experienced, able to help us all understand how to provide practical help and assistance for those suffering from disability or disadvantage without patronizing them or, treating them any differently than anyone else. With over twenty years of experience the social profit organization Access Arts is based in Brisbane. It works in partnership with Queensland arts and cultural organizations to support a high level of accessibility and disability awareness within the arts and cultural sector.

Access Arts encourages equal access to the arts for all people. They offer flexible training programs and consultancy services to both corporate and community groups. They also provide support and encouragement so that people with disabilities can be involved at ever level of both corporate and community life, including providing practical advice to groups like bands and dance teams. Popular TV show GLEE out of America is helping by providing an invaluable role model for the up and coming and contemporary generation for that of ensuring the arts sector is, and will always remain inclusive.

Watch GLEE – Its My Life Confessions Video and Read on

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=og_8Trt_nTs&feature=related

Kids drawing to the sound of music in Queen Street Mall, Brisbane 150 Celebrations Big City Draw 2009, courtesy Brisbane City Council - photograph Antoine Matarasso, Studio Matarasso

Who should participate and would benefit the most from a disability training awareness program?

• artists and arts and cultural workers
• educators delivering arts and cultural programs
• customer service staff – in all areas of delivery
• CEOs, producers, managers and administrators working in arts and cultural organizations
• architects and developers and their construction teams

Training is delivered by people with disabilities wherever possible. This is because having lived the experience they can go beyond the theoretical providing practical insights and information so that your organization can ensure you can ensure access to all peoples.

Participant feedback suggests these strategies increase enjoyment and relevance for all.

Benefits include

• increasing the confidence of artists, arts workers and customer service staff
• asking questions of experienced trainers who have a “lived” experience of disability
• receive information on a range of disabilities and practical tips on how best to assist
• an excellent team-building exercise.
• increases your capacity to deliver inclusive arts and cultural projects and events
• ensuring programs are relevant to your individual needs

Drawing to music with Brass Roots Live Queen Street Mall, Brisbane 150 Celebrations Big City Draw 2009, courtesy Brisbane City Council - photograph Antoine Matarasso, Studio Matarasso

Disability awareness programs are delivered quarterly by Access Arts at Brisbane-based venues.

Meetings with corporate clients such as architects and developers can also be customized.

Commission an Audit and be Aware

Access Arts will come into an existing workplace or event venue and provide a comprehensive analysis and audit to ensure that everything is in place for you to help those experiencing disability and disadvantage have a good experience.

Access Arts CEO Emma Bennison, captivating hearts and singing out loud to help those experiencing disadvantage and disability

This unique organization has a compassionate CEO Emma Bennison who has a broad range of experience in managing key arts and cultural projects in partnership with organizations and communities across Queensland, nationally and internationally.

In 2007, Emma established Inclusion Fusion (IF), an A Capella quintet comprising Access Arts staff as a means of enabling her staff to remain connected to their artistic practice whilst promoting the talents of professional artists with disabilities.

Emma,  a professional singer/songwriter has a Bachelor of Music from the University of Queensland. She performs with her husband in a piano/vocal duo and has released a CD containing original compositions and covers. Emma is also a composer, arranger and private vocal teacher and facilitates vocal workshops.

Together with her team of excellent workers and volunteers at Access Arts, Emma is removing barriers to arts and cultural participation for those experiencing disability. They are providing excellent Training Programs for you and your teams to participate in at very reasonable rates. The money expended is tax deductible, but more importantly is an investment in the future of all Australians.

Access Artsis proudly supported by the Queensland Arts Council.

Angela Jaeschke, an angel and General Manager at Access Arts

Queensland Arts Council - creative in communities serving a statewide network of community organizations and providing access to funding, advice and resources

General Manager Angela Jaeschke arrived in Australia in August 2004 as a student placement. Angela was tour manager of the Sound Circles tour to Japan in September 2005, taking 13 people to run Sound Circles workshops over 21 days at the NGO Village of World Expo, Aichi, Japan. With a background in music, Angela plays the double bass in the Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra and was a member of the Queensland Youth Orchestra for a number of years. Angela has a degree in Social Science (Human Services) from QUT.

Your Community or Corporate group can benefit by working with Access Arts. Be sure to call today.

Contact CEO Emma Bennison or General Manager Angela Jaeschke
Nationally on : 07 3844 5897
Local on: 1300 663 651

ACCESS ARTS
ABN: 82 066 160 761
Queensland Arts Council Building, 8 Lochaber Street, Dutton Park Q 4102  www.accessarts.org.au

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