From Christina C., Care2 Action Alerts
The arts are for everyone. But Cuts to the Access to Work scheme imperil the future of disabled artists.
Artists with disabilities including actress Nicola Miles-Wardin were at center stage in the Opening Ceremony for the 2012 Paralympics in London. At that time, many declared that disability arts had "come of age" in the UK. Two years later, all the gains made by disabled artists are threatened because of cuts to the Access to Work scheme.
Just three decades ago, there was no expectation that someone with learning disabilities, autism or other disabilities could contribute culturally. Now, the UK is home to Graeae, a theatre company that champions accessibility, and Strictly Collaborative, an inclusive theatre company that disabled and non-disabled people can participate in. The UK has been called a leader in recognising and supporting disabled artists.
Cuts to Access to Work will negate all that disabled artists have achieved. Reduced funding means that Graeae's artistic director, Jenny Sealey, who is deaf, and actors who rely on sign language interpreters will not be able to do their work. Sealey has even been told that only scientists and not artists can qualify for the highest level of interpreters.
Theatre, dance and other arts are not only for the non-disabled. Tell the UK to support disability arts and not reduce their funding!